Bobcats ground Fleet, 4-2, claim top spot in league standings

DUE WEST, S.C. --- Senior Mary Dorn (Shallotte, N.C.) scored the first of three second-half goals on Thursday evening, propelling the Lees-McRae College women's soccer team to a 4-2 victory over Erskine College in Conference Carolinas play.

Lees-McRae (6-3-1, 5-1 CC) outshot Erskine (3-6-1, 3-3 CC) by a 14-6 margin in the match, including an 8-2 advantage in the first half, as the Bobcats took over sole possession of the top spot in the league standings. The Bobcats held a narrow 3-2 edge in corner kicks on the evening while scoring three of their four goals in the second half.

Freshman Sarah Mahar (Jacksonville, Fla.) tallied her third match-winner of the season, tying Sam Arendt (Franklinton, N.C.) for the team lead with her fourth goal of the campaign. Dorn, Emily Jones (Leonardtown, Md.), and Molly Ames (Greensboro, N.C.) each found the back of the net for the Bobcats as well, while Meagan Thornton (Millville, N.J.) and Kaitlyn Kerrigan (Lakewood Ranch, Fla.) both notched an assist. Kaitlyn Briggs (Oviedo, Fla.) made two saves between the pipes for Lees-McRae.

Molly Harpe paced the Flying Fleet with a goal and an assist, as Hayley Rogers added a strike of her own and Emily Brown chipped in a helper. Harpe tallied a team-high three shots; Katie Lyle and Ashton Burgess combined for five saves in the contest.

Jones broke the deadlock in the late stages of the 27th minute, taking a short pass from Thornton off a corner kick and delivering the finish into the far corner to give the Bobcats an early 1-0 advantage. Rogers leveled proceedings in the 39th minute, sending the finish into the top corner following a Harpe pass off a loose ball in the area, knotting the match at 1-1 heading into the interval.

The Bobcats answered less than three minutes into the second half, taking a 2-1 advantage when Dorn tucked the finish inside the far post off a Kerrigan corner for her second goal of the season. Mahar provided the eventual winner midway through the 56th minute, slotting the finish into the bottom corner to give the Bobcats a 3-1 lead.

Harpe would halve the advantage to 3-2 in the late stages of the 74th minute, delivering a superb finish into the upper 90 from the top of the 18-yard box off a pass from Brown. Ames capped the scoring midway through the 77th minute, converting from the penalty spot following an Erskine foul in the area to equal the final margin of 4-2.

Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Saturday when the Bobcats celebrate Homecoming Weekend with a league matchup against Pfeiffer University on Tate Field at 1 p.m.

- LMC -