October 26, 2013

Bobcats clinch third straight Conference Carolinas title

MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College women's soccer team scored twice in the opening four minutes, and added a strike in the second half to clinch its third straight Conference Carolinas regular season title with a 3-0 win over Mount Olive College on Saturday afternoon.

With the victory, Lees-McRae (10-6, 8-1 CC) claims the top seed in the conference tournament while running its win streak to nine matches. The Bobcats have also kept a clean sheet in each of their last seven matches, extending their shutout streak to 670:17.

The Bobcats controlled the run of play for much of the match, outshooting Mount Olive (4-10-2, 1-7-1 CC) by a 23-6 margin, including a 12-3 advantage in the first half. Lees-McRae also attempted eight corner kicks to the Trojans' one on the afternoon.

Kaitlyn Briggs (Oviedo, Fla.) continued her torrid season with her nine clean sheet of the campaign and 21st of her career, moving into a tie for first on the program's all-time list while making five saves in the contest.

Kaitlyn Kerrigan (Fishers, Ind.) added a pair of assists to jump into third in school history with 34 career helpers, while Sarah Mahar (Jacksonville, Fla.), Meagan Thornton (Millville, N.J.) and Erica Allen (Norton, Ohio) each found the back of the net for the Bobcats. Thornton also added an assist and a match-high five shots, including three on frame.

Goalkeeper Stephanie McCoy turned in perhaps the performance of the afternoon for the Trojans, making five saves in each half for a match total of 10.

The Bobcats got off to a flying start in the third minute, taking an early 1-0 lead when Thornton put Mahar in behind with a brilliant through ball. The sophomore forward then buried the finish in the bottom corner for her 11th career match-winner, moving her into fifth on the program's all-time list.

Thornton would double the advantage to 2-0 just 24 seconds later, slotting the finish past the keeper off a perfect long ball by Kerrigan. The Bobcats capped the scoring midway through the 69th minute, pushing the advantage to 3-0 when Allen nodded home a corner by Kerrigan for her goal of the season.

Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Wednesday when the Bobcats host Queens University of Charlotte on Senior Night at 5 p.m. on Tate Field.

- LMC -