Photo Courtesy of Mike Keating
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College women's soccer program will kick off its 2019 season this week with a pair of matches on the road. First, Lees-McRae will travel to Lenoir-Rhyne on Thursday before wrapping up the first week of regular season action with a trip to Francis Marion on Sunday. Thursday's contest is set for a 5 p.m. start time, while Sunday's tilt is scheduled to get underway at 1 p.m.
Coaching Change – The Bobcats will be under new leadership this fall as Cally Morrill returns to coach the team. Morrill, who was the Head Coach at Lynn for the past five seasons, coached the Bobcats from 2010-2012. During her last tenure with Lees-McRae, Morrill coached the Bobcats to a 27-11-3 record and their last Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship back in 2011.
Preseason Prognostication – Lees-McRae was selected to finish eighth in the Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches' Poll last month. Furthermore, the trio of Pali Smith, Autumn Esposito and Kiara Montenegro were picked as players to watch for the Bobcats in 2019.
About the Opponents – Lenoir-Rhyne is looking to take another step forward in 2019 after an 11-win campaign last fall. Any successes the Bears will have this season will more than likely be traced to the foursome of Christina Shimshock, Aqsa Mushtaq, Abigael McGarel and Hannah Van Eerden. All four of these players were named to the Preseason All-SAC teams last month.
Francis Marion will be making its season debut Saturday against the Bobcats after its contest against Coker was postponed due to the effects of Hurricane Dorian. The Patriots went 5-10-1 last season with three of their five victories coming on their home field. A player to watch for the Patriots on Saturday is Dayle McEwen, who paced the team with 16 points last fall.
Series Histories vs. Opponents – The Bobcats and Bears have matched up a total of 15 times since the first meeting back in 1990. L-R has held the edge for the most part in the series winning 11 of the 15 matchups including a 1-0 triumph last season in Banner Elk. Lees-McRae's last victory in the series came during the 2000 season by a score of 2-1.
The series history between the Patriots and Bobcats is far less extensive. Lees-McRae has taken on Francis Marion just twice with the two meetings occurring in the 2001 and 2004 campaigns. FMU won both of the meetings by scores of 4-0 and 4-1.