Mahar, Langille pace Bobcats to 3-2 win over Pfeiffer

Photo by Mike Lacey

MISENHEIMER, N.C. --- Sophomore Sarah Mahar (Jacksonville, Fla.) posted her first brace of the season, including the match-winner in the 89th minute, as Lena Langille (Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia) tallied her first collegiate goal to lead the Lees-McRae College women's soccer team to a pivotal 3-2 win over Pfeiffer University on Thursday afternoon in Conference Carolinas play.

With the win, Lees-McRae (3-6, 2-1 CC) jumps into a tie for second in the league standings as Pfeiffer (4-5, 2-2 CC) held a 19-11 edge in attempts on goal in the contest.

Mahar paced the Bobcats with two goals, book-ending the day's scoring with her third and fourth strikes of the campaign. Langille added her first career tally early in the first half, as MaryBeth Sullivan (Greensboro, N.C.) and Meagan Thornton (Millville, N.J.) each notched an assist. Kaitlyn Briggs (Oviedo, Fla.) posted at least eight saves for the third time this season, stopping eight of the Falcons' 10 shots on frame to earn her third victory of the campaign.

Kayla Rodriguez and Brae Buster both found the back of the net for the Falcons, as Hannah Kish and Katlyn Stevens each tallied an assist. Buster paced Pfeiffer with four shots, all on frame, while Kate Halligan made three saves between the pipes.

The Bobcats got off to a flying start just 30 seconds into the match, snatching an early 1-0 lead when Mahar got on the end of a perfect through ball from Thornton and slotted it into the bottom corner. Pfeiffer responded with a concerted push forward, firing seven shots toward the Bobcat goal within a 12-minute span, Briggs stopped each attempt on frame to preserve the one-goal advantage.

Langille would double the Bobcat advantage midway through the 20th, settling a cross from Sullivan and finding the back of the net for her first strike of the season. The freshman midfielder nearly pushed the margin to three late in the 28th minute, forcing a skillful stop from Halligan off an outstanding buildup.

Pfeiffer's Alexa Eclipse gave Briggs her final test of the first half seconds before the interval, forcing Briggs into her fifth save of the match to give the Bobcats a 2-0 lead heading into the break.

The Falcons came out firing in the second half, pushing forward in search of their first before finding it late in the 58th minute, cutting the lead to 2-1 when Rodriguez finished a deflected cross by Kish from 12 yards out. Buster would deliver the equalizer just over four minutes later, evening the tally at 2-2 off a pass from Stevens in the 62nd.

The Bobcats answered with a concentrated attack over the next 20 minutes, outshooting the Falcons by a 5-2 margin before Mahar found the winner early in the 89th minute, taking advantage of a misplayed ball by the Pfeiffer keeper and delivering the finish from distance to notch her second decisive strike in as many matches.

Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Saturday when the Bobcats celebrate Homecoming Weekend with a 2 p.m. conference clash against Barton College on Tate Field.

- LMC -