Photo courtesy of Gerry Wall
BANNER ELK, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College women's soccer team will take on two key conference opponents this week, hosting Chowan on Monday (Oct. 8) in a makeup contest for a 2 p.m. kickoff and traveling to Belmont Abbey on Saturday (Oct. 13) for a 1 p.m. kickoff. Video and live stats for both matches will be available at www.lmcbobcats.com.
About the Bobcats - LMC is 10th in Conference Carolinas in goals with nine, ninth in assists with seven and 10th in points with 25. Autumn Esposito and Sarah Giarusso each share the team lead in goals with two, while five others have netted one goal each on the season. Lauren Paulsen's three assists lead the team and are tied for seventh in the conference, while Esposito has two and Pali Smith and Alexa Todd each have one assist. Esposito's six points lead the team, while Giarusso is second on the team with four. Three other Bobcats have three points each, while another three have two points apiece on the season. Alexis Feely has played the majority of minutes in net for the Bobcats this season, owning a 2.64 goals against average (GAA) and a .802 save percentage as well as 102 total saves. Her GAA is ninth in the conference, while her save percentage is third in the league and her save total leads both the conference and the nation.
Last Time Out - The Bobcats earned their first win of 2018 on Homecoming Saturday (Oct. 6), defeating Converse 2-1. The Bobcats struck for the first goal in the 12th minute when Todd crossed the ball to pinching midfielder Maddie Olson in the box. Olson fired through a crowd to find the back of the net for her first of the season. Less than three minutes later, Todd would net her first of the season heading a corner kick past Converse's keeper off a Smith corner kick. The Bobcats would carry the lead to the half. The lone goal in the second half belonged to the Valkyries and came in the 74th minute Hallie Lycans found Cassidy Marshall for her second of the season to put the match at its final score. The teams would go back and forth for the remaining minutes as LMC would run the clock out for the win. Converse out-shot LMC 20-10 including 9-8 in shots on goal. Four different Bobcats registered two shots each in the contest, while Paulsen and Lindsey Bowden each fired one shot. Converse also totaled six corner kicks to LMC's one. Feely made eight saves in her first win of the season.
About the Opponents - Chowan enters the contest at 3-4-1 and 2-2-1 in the conference. The Hawks come into the matchup eighth in the league in goals (14), assists (11) and points (39). Sabrina Henderson's team-high eight goals are tied for second in the conference, while Carolina Lucci is second on the team with three goals, Emily Trueman has two goals and Sydney Henderson has also scored once. Lucci's team-high six assists are tied for third in Conference Carolinas, while five other Hawks have tallied assists on the season. Sabrina Henderson's team-high 16 points are fifth in the conference, while Lucci is the only other Hawk with double-digit points (12). Six other Hawks have registered at least one point on the season. Olivia Borer has played the majority of the minutes in net for Chowan, owning a 1.46 GAA, a .723 save percentage and 34 total saves. Her GAA and save percentage are both fifth in the conference, while her save total is eighth.
Belmont Abbey enters the week 9-1-0 and 5-1-0 in Conference Carolinas and also ranked sixth in the Southeast region. Belmont Abbey will host North Greenville on Tuesday (Oct. 9) before taking on LMC. The Crusaders are fourth in the league in goals with 23, tied for sixth in assists with 12 and fourth in the league with 58 points. Morgan Patton's six goals lead the team and are tied for sixth in Conference Carolinas, while three others have scored three goals each on the season and another seven Crusaders have each scored once on the season. Three Crusaders share the team lead in assists with two, while another six have each tallied one assist on the season. Patton's 13 points also lead the team and are tied for eighth in the conference, while Allyson Elliott and Sydney Pluhacek share the second-highest point total with seven. 11 other Crusaders have recorded points on the season. Caroline Lauer is a mainstay in net for Belmont Abbey, owning a 1.03 GAA, a .704 save percentage and 19 total saves. Her GAA is third in the league, while her save percentage is ninth.
Series History vs. Opponents - This will be the fifth all-time meeting between LMC and Chowan, with LMC holding a 3-0 lead and the lone tie in the series coming in last year's meeting.
This will be the 32nd all-time meeting between LMC and Belmont Abbey, with Belmont Abbey leading the series 20-8 with three ties also included. Lees-McRae won last year's matchup 2-1 in overtime.