Soccer (W)

Kirkman's Goal Gives Women's Soccer Win Over #11 Lenoir-Rhyne

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SALISBURY, NC -- Sophomore Mary Kirkman (Burlington, NC/Williams HS) scored the lone goal as host Catawba knocked off 11th-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne 1-0 in South Atlantic Conference women's soccer action on Wednesday at Frock Field.  The Catawba Indians improve to 9-5-1 overall and 5-3-1 in the SAC.  The Bears drop to 10-3-1 and 6-1-1 after being handed their first league loss since Oct. 23, 2010, exactly three years ago.

The teams were dead even in shots during both halves of action.  Each team had four in the opening half with Catawba having the better chances early.  Lady Indian keeper Bethany Davis (Salisbury, MD/Parkside HS) made two nice saves late in the half to keep the match scoreless.  Her first came as she slid to block a shot near the top of the box and the second was a diving save to her right off a shot from Leah Mullins (Kissimmee, FL) with five minutes left before the break.

Catawba finally broke through in the second half.  Sophie Waller (Watford, ENGLAND/St. Michael’s Catholic HS) had a nice chance saved in the 57th minute and the rebound was finally corralled by Bear keeper Genny Little (Fredericksburg, VA) before the Lady Indians got to it.  Just past the hour, Kirkman took a pass from Karen Presnell (Salisbury, NC/Salisbury HS) and fired back across the goal into the upper right corner from the top left side of the box to score what would be the winner.

The Lady Indians had squandered a 2-0 lead on Lenoir-Rhyne with about 12 minutes left during last year’s SAC Tournament semifinal match, but tonight Catawba limited the Bears to just three shots after taking the lead.  Davis would stop two of those shots and finished with seven saves in earning her third shutout.  She has allowed just one goal over the last four matches.

Kirkman nearly doubled the lead with 10 minutes to play, but her shot found the crossbar.  The win, which snapped a 26-match non-losing stretch in conference play for Lenoir-Rhyne, also avenged two overtime losses by Catawba to the nationally-ranked Bears last season.

Both teams finished with 10 shots with the Bears getting seven on goal to five for Catawba.  The Lady Indians held a 4-3 edge in corner kicks.  Little had four saves for Lenoir-Rhyne.

Catawba takes to the road Saturday, making the trip to Lincoln Memorial for a 1 p.m. match.  Catawba’s next goal will be the 1,000th in the history of the women’s program.

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