BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Senior goalkeeper Alicia Pierson (Brooksville, Fla.) made six saves, including a diving stop in the final moments of the second extra time period, to lead the Lees-McRae College women's soccer team to a scoreless draw with Queens University of Charlotte on Senior Night Wednesday evening at Tate Field.
Lees-McRae (10-6-1) and Queens (10-4-3) each took 11 shots in a spirited battle featuring two of the top 10 teams (Queens 8th, Lees-McRae 10th) in this week's NSCAA /Continental Tire NCAA Division II Southeast Region poll. Both teams maintained a strong attacking presence throughout the contest but were unable to string together that allusive final ball, as the two sides combined for 10 shots on frame in a contest dominated by strong midfield play.
Prior to the start of the match, the Bobcats honored graduating seniors LeeAnn Sullivan (Greensboro, N.C.), Kaitlyn Kerrigan (Fishers, Ind.), MaryBeth Sullivan (Greensboro, N.C.) and Pierson with their annual senior night ceremony, presenting senior awards to four of the program's most decorated players before each senior made their final regular season start on Tate Field.
Pierson paced the Bobcats with six saves, keeping her second career clean sheet to celebrate her regular season finale on her home pitch. Sophomore Sarah Mahar (Jacksonville, Fla.) attempted a match-high four shots, including two on frame, as Meagan Thornton (Millville, N.J.) forced a save with both of her shots.
Jessyca Young made four saves for Queens on the night, as Caitlyn Rodrigues, Sydney Michelin and Diamond Russos each attempted two shots.
The two sides battled for possession throughout the match, combining for four shots on frame through the first 45 minutes. Lees-McRae turned up the pressure in the second half, outshooting the Royals by a 5-2 margin in the period, while forcing a pair of late stops by Young to preserve the deadlock and send the match into extra time.
Perhaps the best scoring chance of the added 20 minutes came just seconds from full time, when Pierson made an outstanding diving stop on a shot by Russos off a corner, keeping her clean sheet intact and earning a result for her team on senior night.
Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Monday evening when the top-seeded Bobcats host the as-yet-to-be-determined eighth seed in the quarterfinal round of this year's Conference Carolinas Tournament at 7 p.m. on Tate Field.
- LMC -