Mary Kirkman tallied two goals and Bethany Davis made 11 saves to lead the Catawba College women's soccer team to a 3-1 win over Lees-McRae College in non-conference action on Wednesday
evening. Lees-McRae (8-5-1) outshot Catawba (9-6) by an 18-8 margin in the match, including a 10-3 advantage in the first half, while putting 12 shots on frame. MaryBeth Sullivan (Greensboro, N.C.) posted her fourth goal of the season to pace the Bobcats, becoming the 10th player in program history to reach the 30-goal plateau. Sullivan and Erica Allen (Norton, Ohio) recorded five and three shots, respectively, as Kaitlyn Briggs (Oviedo, Fla.) made two saves.
Kirkman led the way for Catawba with a brace, connecting on two of her three shots as Amy Iwanicki added a pair of assists. Athena Bless also found the back of the net for the Catawba Indians, while Taylor Arrowood chipped in an assist and Davis turned in 11 saves.
Catawba got off to a flying start in the fifth minute, taking a 1-0 lead when Kirkman finished a through ball from Iwanicki. The Catawba Indians would hold the advantage through the interval and into the 57th minute, when Kirkman and Iwanicki connected again to push the lead to 2-0.
The Bobcats would answer in the 74th minute, when Sullivan got to a loose ball in the area and lifted the finish over the Catawba keeper to halve the margin to 2-1. Catawba answered 45 seconds later, pushing the lead to 3-1 when Bless knocked in a corner from Arrowood.
Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Saturday when the Bobcats travel to Wilson, N.C. to resume their Conference Carolinas schedule against Barton College at 5 p.m.
Bobcats, Bears End Up In A Scoreless Tie
The Lees-McRae College men's soccer team battled to a scoreless draw with Lenoir-Rhyne University on Wednesday night in non-conference play on Wednesday evening, nearly netting the winner in the final minute of extra time when Scott Alford's (Hillsborough, N.C.) effort nearly found the top corner.
Lees-McRae (3-8-3) controlled the pace of play for much of the match, dominating possession and outshooting Lenoir-Rhyne (5-5-4) by a 20-13 margin in the contest. Thomas Rusling (Sheffield, England) delivered another strong performance between the pipes for the Bobcats, tallying five saves to keep his 14th career clean sheet while moving into second on the program's all-time list in goals against average.
James Smith (Eastbourne, England) paced the Bobcats with eight shots, including three on frame, as Alford sent four attempts toward goal on the night.
Raffaelle Di Puorto led the way for Lenoir-Rhyne with four attempts at goal, including two on frame, as Chris Johnson and Mehmet Karakilinc each added three shots. Stefan Dill added eight saves to keep a clean sheet for the Bears.
The best scoring chance for either side came in the closing seconds of the second extra time period, when Alford wrung a glorious chance off the bar after Ryan Gillespie (Holly Springs, N.C.) found the forward unmarked in front of goal with 25 seconds left on the clock.
Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Saturday when the Bobcats travel to Wilson, N.C. to resume their Conference Carolinas schedule against Barton College at 7 p.m. The Bears travel to Tusculum on Sunday.
Photo Courtesy: MaryBeth Sullivan, LMC Athletics