BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lady Tornado faced a barrage of offense from the Lees-McRae Bobcats at Tate Field and held their own despite being outshot 25-3. Morgan Lawson made 10 saves yet Sarah Mahar's tally in the 51st minute made the difference in King's 1-0 loss, Tuesday night.
King (4-8-2, 3-6-2 Conference Carolinas) kept the score tied at zero through the first half and the shot attempt totals a respectable 7-2 in favor of the host Bobcats, but the second half proved to be too much as the hosts put 18 shot attempts together, scoring once.
Lees-McRae (10-5-1, 9-1-0) wasted no time in applying the pressure with a shot that sailed wide left of the King goal just 13 seconds into the second half. They came right back down the field, moving the ball from midfield to nearly 20 yards out before Sarah Mahar scored her first goal of the season by fitting her shot just inside the far post, beating a diving Morgan Lawson. The goal was score at 50:30.
The Bobcats kept the shots coming, sending in four more shots within the next four minutes. At the turn of the 60th minute, King received a bit of luck when Mahar's next shot attempt hit the crossbar and two minutes later Kaitlyn Kerrigan hit the post. Lawson made two more saves immediately afterward, keeping the match a one-goal affair.
In the last two minutes of play, King had one last opportunity off of a corner kick by senior Monica Aguirre. The Miami, Fla. native sailed the ball to the far post where Caroline Gentry (Bristol, Tenn./Tennessee H.S.) met the ball with a shot attempt that sailed wide left.
King received no more scoring opportunities, leading to a 1-0 decision in favor of Lees-McRae.
Lees-McRae outshot King by a 25-3 margin, controlling the pace of the game with its offense. Despite the shot differential, freshman keeper Morgan Lawson held her ground well by making 10 saves on the evening. It was her third match with 10 or more saves and her second straight doing so. In six matches, including five starts, the Goodview, Va. native has made 46 saves, good for a .902 save percentage, and allowed only five goals. To date, she has two shutouts despite a 1-3-1 record between the posts.
The loss marks the Lady Tornado's final league match of the season, placing them in a tie for the eighth and final playoff spot with a 3-6-2 record and 11 points. With conference teams still left to play, their postseason fate in the performances of Coker (10 points) and Erskine (9 points) who all have one final match to play.
Erskine (3-11-1, 3-7-0), who is currently on an eight-game losing streak, hosts Queens University of Charlotte (8-8-1, 6-3-1, 19 points) while Coker (4-11-2, 3-6-1) hosts Limestone (9-5-0, 7-3-0, 21 points).
With losses by both Coker and Erskine, King will advance to the 2012 Conference Carolinas Women's Soccer Tournament as the eighth seed based on the third tiebreaker. Both games will be played on Oct. 27.