Women's Soccer

Bobcats hold off Erskine, 2-1, in conference tournament opener

Bobcats hold off Erskine, 2-1, in conference tournament opener
Box score

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Emily Jones (Leonardtown, Md.) scored her second goal of the season in the 69th minute, and the top-seeded Lees-McRae College women's soccer team held on for a 2-1 win over eighth-seeded Erskine College in the quarterfinal round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament on Monday night on Tate Field.

Lees-McRae (13-4-1) outshot Erskine (6-11) by a 28-2 margin, including a 21-2 advantage in the second half, as the Bobcats advanced to the semifinal round of the conference tournament. Jones and Brooke Santerre (Port Republic, Md.) each found the back of the net for the Bobcats, as Vickie Rich (Arlington Heights, Ill.) and Meagan Thornton (Millville, N.J.) each added an assist. Kaitlyn Briggs (Oviedo, Fla.) played the full 90 minutes between the pipes for the Bobcats, allowing one goal and making one save.

Molly Harpe tallied the lone goal for Erskine on the night, as Sam Abbott added an assist and Katie Lyle made four saves between the pipes.

The match remained scoreless until midway through the 61st minute, when Rich made a run into the box from the right flank and centered a pass to Santerre, putting the senior midfielder in perfect position to slot the finish past the keeper and give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead. Jones doubled the advantage to 2-0 eight minutes later, running onto a centering ball by Thornton and sending a driven strike over the keeper for her second goal of the season.

Erskine cut the margin to 2-1 in the 84th minute, when Abbott made a run into the corner and sent a cross into the area, finding a wide open Harpe who looped the finish into the back of the net. The Bobcats responded with a concerted effort on the backline, limiting the Flying Fleet to one additional chance before closing out the narrow one-goal victory.

Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Thursday when the Bobcats host third-seeded Limestone College in the semifinal round of the conference tournament at 7 p.m. on Tate Field. The Saints won the teams' regular season matchup on Oct. 25 in Gaffney, S.C. by a score of 2-0.

- LMC -