Bobcats edge Lions, 1-0, on Thornton's extra time winner
MARS HILL, N.C. --- Junior Meagan Thornton (Millville, N.J.) netted her fourth goal of the season in the second extra period, and Kaitlyn Briggs (Oviedo, Fla.) kept her fourth straight clean sheet to move into a tie for second on the program's all-time shutouts list to lift the Lees-McRae College women's soccer team to a 1-0 win over Mars Hill University in non-conference play on Monday evening.
With the win, Lees-McRae (7-6) pushes its win streak to six, including its fourth straight clean sheet. The Bobcats outshot Mars Hill (2-8-2) by a 17-14 margin in a tightly contested match, while edging the Lions 6-2 in attempts from the corner.
Thornton netted the lone goal of the match for the Bobcats, connecting on the second of her two attempts on frame, as Sarah Mahar (Jacksonville, Fla.) added her second assist of the campaign on the extra-time winner. Briggs stopped all eight shots put on frame by the Lions to post her sixth shutout of the season and 18th of her career, moving into a tie for second on the program's all-time list.
Maslyn Greene stopped six of seven shots on frame for the Lions, as Rachel Weber paced Mars Hill with a match-high six shots, including five on frame. Aerial Ellis, McKay Sharpe, and Hannah Russell each made two attempts at goal in the match.
Lees-McRae nearly got off to a flying start just over 90 seconds into the match, when Thornton made a run in from the left flank and her effort went inches wide of the far post in perhaps the best scoring chance of the first half for either side.
The pace of play picked up in the second half, with both squads taking nine shots in the second 45 minutes. Each keeper was called to repeated action in the second half, combining for 10 saves as Briggs made a trio of stops in the final 10 minutes of regulation to preserve the deadlock, and send the match into extra time.
Mars Hill wasted little time pushing forward in the first extra time period, testing Briggs twice in the opening 90 seconds, as Thornton and Emma McGovern (Lexington, N.C.) forced Greene into a pair of saves in the closing moments of the stanza.
Thornton would net the winner 2:09 into the second added period, settling a pass from Mahar at the top of the area and bending the finish into the far corner for her second match-winner of the season.
Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Wednesday when the Bobcats host Conference Carolinas foe Erskine College in in their Kick for the Cure Pink Game at 5 p.m. on Tate Field.
- LMC -