September 29, 2012

Bobcats blank Cobras, 2-0

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Freshmen Sarah Mahar (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Erica Allen (Norton, Ohio) each found the back of the net, and MaryBeth Sullivan (Greensboro, N.C.) added two assists to lead the Lees-McRae College women's soccer team to a 2-0 win over Coker College in Conference Carolinas play on Saturday afternoon at Tate Field.

Lees-McRae (5-3-1, 4-1 CC) controlled the pace of play for start to finish, outshooting Coker (3-7-1, 1-3 CC) by a 38-1 margin, including an 18-1 advantage in the first half to move into a three-way tie atop the league standings with Limestone College and Pfeiffer University. The Bobcats held an 8-1 advantage in corner kicks in the match, as Coker goalkeeper Lizz Morris made 20 saves in a strong performance for the Cobras.

Mahar and Allen each came off the bench to find the back of the net for the Bobcats, both tallying their third goal of the season as Sullivan tallied her team-leading fifth and sixth assists of the campaign.

Kaitlyn Briggs (Oviedo, Fla.) stopped the only shot she faced on the afternoon, recording her 10th career shutout. Mahar paced the Bobcats with nine shots, including seven on frame, as Mallory Overholt (Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada) and Meagan Thornton (Millville, N.J.) added six and five attempts on goal, respectively.

The match remained scoreless until the 33rd minute, when Sullivan crossed a ball into Mahar who delivered a textbook finish into the bottom corner, giving the Bobcats an early 1-0 lead with her third goal of the season. Allen doubled the advantage nine minutes later, tallying her third goal of the campaign off a cross from Sullivan in the 42nd minute to send the Bobcats into the interval with a 2-0 lead.

Lees-McRae would continue to press the attack in the second half, nearly extending the margin to 3-0 less than a minute into the period when Overholt's effort from 12 yards wrung off the bar. Thornton narrowly missed opening her account for the day in the 58th minute, sending a driving strike from 25 yards distance just past the top corner.

The Bobcats sent seven shots toward goal in the final 15 minutes of the match, including a pair of consecutive efforts from Ariana Smith (Jackson, N.J.) following a free kick in the 85th minute.

Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Thursday, October 4 when the Bobcats travel to Due West, S.C. to take on Erskine College in league play at 5 p.m.

- LMC -