Women’s soccer suffers 1-0 Homecoming loss to Lees-McRae

Barton College defender Laura Franco, in white, guards Lees-McRae College's Riley Neese during Saturday's match in Wilson, N.C. | Photo by Cory Guinn
Barton College defender Laura Franco, in white, guards Lees-McRae College's Riley Neese during Saturday's match in Wilson, N.C. | Photo by Cory Guinn

by Benny Benton

WILSON, N.C. – On Homecoming Weekend at Barton College, it was a player for visiting Lees-McRae College who also returned home and ruined the party for the BC women's soccer team.

Lees-McRae senior Cheyenne Warrick, who set state scoring records during her prep career at nearby Charles B. Aycock High School, netted a header off a corner kick from Lena Langille in the 60th minute, the only goal of the game in the Bobcats' 1-0 win over Barton.

Warrick's header floated over the head of BC keeper Haley Sauls and just under the crossbar for her third goal of the year.

The Bobcat defense, one of the best in Conference Carolinas with just eight goals allowed in league play all year, preserved the shutout from there.

All five wins for Lees-McRae (5-10, 5-4) have come in conference matches, and all five have been by shutout.

Barton (6-8, 5-4), which was shutout for the fifth time this year and third time in its last four matches, made it easy for Lees-McRae in the contest. The Lady Bulldogs produced just five total shots in the match, and just one of those was on-goal. Sophomore Alexis Feely, the league leader in save percentage, collected the one save and the shutout.

The Bobcats missed a golden opportunity to score in the first half when Kennedy Masse's shot struck the left corner of the net where the post and crossbar meet. Despite LMC holding an 11-1 edge in shots, the two sides went to intermission scoreless.

Barton's only shot on goal came two minutes into the second half on an attempt by Tonya Garcia, but it was stopped by Feely. Warrick had two attempts turned away by Sauls in the period before finding the net on the third one with the header in the box.

Sauls had eight saves for BC while facing 21 total shots.

The match was a key one for home-field advantage in the upcoming Conference Carolinas Tournament. The two teams are now tied for the fourth and final home match with two games remaining. Lees-McRae now owns the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Barton will visit rival University of Mount Olive on Tuesday, then travel to King University to complete the regular-season on Saturday.