Photo courtesy of Gerry Wall
BANNER ELK, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College women's soccer team returns to the pitch this week after Hurricane Florence, hosting Tusculum College for a 5 p.m. kickoff on Wednesday (Sept. 19) and traveling to Erskine for a 1:30 p.m. Conference Carolinas kickoff on Saturday (Sept. 22). Video and live stats for both matches will be available at www.lmcbobcats.com.
About the Bobcats - LMC (0-5-0, 0-2-0 Conf. Carolinas) comes into the week searching for their first win of the season. The Bobcats are currently tied for ninth in the league with three goals scored, with two of them coming from Autumn Esposito. Esposito's two goals are tied for eighth in the conference. The third goal is credited to Katie Jo Daniel. LMC is also tied for seventh in the league with three assists on the season, with two of them coming from Lauren Paulsen and the other from Esposito. Paulsen's two assists are tied for second in the league. LMC's nine total points are also ninth in the league, with five of them coming from Esposito. Esposito's five points are tied for 10th in the conference. Alexis Feely has played all 385:24 in net for the Bobcats, totaling 56 saves, a .789 save percentage and a 3.50 goals against average (GAA). Her saves total leads the nation and the conference.
Last Time Out - The Bobcats dropped their last contest before Hurricane Florence hit last Wednesday (Sept. 12) at North Greenville 1-0 in double-overtime. The two teams played a scoreless first half, with North Greenville totaling eight shots to Lees-McRae's four. North Greenville would predominantly push the pace in the second half, forcing Feely to make seven saves in the frame with several of them being in tight to the goal. LMC would put three shots on frame in the second half before the teams went to overtime. After a scoreless 10 minutes of overtime in which North Greenville out-shot Lees-McRae 3-1, the two teams would play another OT period to decide a winner. North Greenville had earned the corner kick advantage the entire match, and set up for their 12th attempt of the contest in the 104th minute. It was fired in by Karly Denaburg and found the foot of Kayla Cruse. Cruse aimed top left through a crowd, finding her target despite Feely getting a hand on it. The Crusaders secured the 2OT win with the goal. The Bobcats registered nine shots in the loss to North Greenville's 21, putting seven of them on net. Daniel led LMC with three shots and two on goal, while Pali Smith and Alexa Todd each registered two shots in the contest as well. Paulsen and Nicole Shapiro each recorded one shot in the loss. Feely totaled 11 saves in the match, her fourth double-digit save effort of the season. NGU won the battle for corner kicks in the match 12-2.
About the Opponents - Tusculum comes into the week with a 2-2-1 overall record and a 1-0-0 record in the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) and also ranked ninth in the Southeast region by United Soccer Coaches. The Pioneers come into the matchup seventh in the SAC with five goals on the season, while they are also tied for fourth in the league with seven assists on the year. Tusculum is also seventh in the league in points with 17. Five different Pioneers have contributed goals on the season. Nicole McMillen's team-high four assists are tied for the conference lead, while her four total points also lead the team. Hannah Graham has played the majority of minutes for Tusculum in goal, totaling 28 saves, a 1.23 GAA and an .824 save percentage. Tusculum's 1.30 team GAA is also fifth in the league. Graham's 28 saves lead the league, her 1.23 GAA is sixth in the conference and her .824 save percentage is tied for third.
Erskine comes into the week at 1-3-0 overall and 0-1-0 in Conference Carolinas. The Flying Fleet takes on Southern Wesleyan on the road Wednesday night (Sept. 19) before welcoming LMC. Erskine comes into the week having scored five goals on the season, and also with three assists on the year. Their five goals are eighth in the league, while Erskine's three total assists are tied with LMC at seventh in the league. Erskine's 13 total points are the eighth-highest total in the league. Five different players have contributed goals on the season for Erskine, while three players have contributed assists so far on the season. Three different members of the Flying Fleet have each totaled three points with one goal and one assist. Sara Dooley has played every minute between the pipes for Erskine this season, totaling 18 saves, a 2.61 GAA and a .643 save percentage. Her saves total is tied for seventh in the conference, and her 2.61 GAA is 10th in the league.
Series History vs. Opponents - This will be the 13th all-time meeting between Lees-McRae and Tusculum, with LMC leading the all-time series 8-4. Tusculum won last year's matchup in Greeneville 2-0.
This will be the 28th all-time meeting between Lees-McRae and Erskine, with LMC leading the all-time series 18-9. Erskine won last year's meeting 2-1 in Banner Elk.