Bobcats win conference tournament title on PK’s, punch program’s first NCAA Tourmament ticket
BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The top-seeded and Conference Carolinas regular season champion Lees-McRae College women's soccer team edged third-seeded Belmont Abbey College in a penalty kick shootout to win the program's second conference tournament title, and punch the school's first-ever ticket to the NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon on Tate Field.
Lees-McRae (13-4-3) outshot Belmont Abbey (12-7-2) by a 13-8 margin, including a 4-1 edge in the first half, in a defense battle. Lees-McRae's Kaitlyn Briggs (Oviedo, Fla.) and Belmont Abbey's Hannah Kohls recorded five and three saves, respectively, to each keep a clean sheet.
The match remained scoreless through regulation and each period of extra time, as the teams headed into a decisive penalty kick shootout. Seniors Vickie Rich (Arlington Heights, Ill.) and Brooke Santerre (Port Republic, Md.) converted each of their opportunities to give the Bobcats a 2-0 lead in the shootout, and after Belmont Abbey took advantage of their third and fourth chances, freshman Ariana Smith (Jackson, N.J.) and senior Jessica O'Leary (Millbury, Mass.) buried their attempts to send the Bobcats to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.
With the result, Lees-McRae earns the Conference Carolinas' automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, and now await the announcement of the tournament field via the NCAA Selection Show on Monday night at 7 p.m. The selection show will air via NCAA.com.
- LMC -
Conference Carolinas all-Tournament Team
Mary Dorn (MVP), Lees-McRae
Emily Jones, Lees-McRae
Jessica O'Leary, Lees-McRae
Ariana Smith, Lees-McRae
Brooke Santerre, Lees-McRae
Jill Maykut, Pfeiffer
Holli Swartz, Limestone
Carly Kensinger, Belmont Abbey
Kiera Woerner, Belmont Abbey
Hannah Kohls, Belmont Abbey