After successfully promoting the annual Kickin’ It For Kids With Cancer, benefiting the Austin Hatcher Foundation, the Lee women’s soccer team went to work on the pitch Friday evening and handily defeated an old rivalry from its NAIA days, Auburn Montgomery Warhawks, 7-2.
It was the 17th meeting between Lee and AUM and Lee now holds a commanding 14-2-3 advantage in the series. The 19th ranked Lady Flames improved to 5-1-1 overall and 2-0 in the GSC standings. AUM, in its first official year as a member of the GSC, dropped to 0-5 overall and 0-3 in conference standings.
“First I want to say a big thank you to all the sponsors and those who came out to support the event this evening,” said head coach Chris Hennessey.
“It was a good team performance this evening. We scored some good goals and created numerous other chances.
“Nights like tonight present a different challenge for us with everything going on, but I was very impressed with how we stayed focused on the game,” he added. “Sunday is now our focus and we need to be ready to come out and compete.” The Lady Flames will continue GSC play, hosting Montevallo (Ala.) with the first kick at 1 p.m.
The Lady Flames wasted no time in grabbing a 2-0 advantage. Mia Hollingsworth continued her outstanding play. The senior midfielder tallied her first goal with just two minutes deep into the contest. Her shot skipped past the diving AUM keeper. The assist was registered by Kaitlyn Butts. Hollingsworth put her eighth goal of the year on the board in the 11th minute. It was a one-timer off a pass from Riley Engels.
The Warhawks fought back and tied the game on back-to-back tallies by Mayson Jaindl in the 31st and 32nd minutes. The first goal was unassisted but the second came off an assist from Peyton Poe. The Lady Flames countered at the 36:14 mark when Lauren Weimer registered her second goal of the year off assists by Anna Leslie and Carly Smoltz.
The second half was completely dominated by the Lady Flames. The margin grew to 4-2 in the 50th minute when Kelsey Yoder scored her second goal of the year. Anna Lanter delivered a perfect corner kick into the box and Yoder converted the header.
Engels posted her second goal of the season in the 66th minute. It came off another corner kick and a header. This time it was Julia Kaset who put the corner on target.
Emma Higgins enjoyed her first tally of the year in the 80th minute. Lanter picked up her second assist. With the final seconds ticking away, Kate Carney delivered her first goal on a header. It came off a corner kick by Smoltz,
The Lady Flames took full advantage of the corners, having 15 to only one for the visitors. They fired away at the Warhawks defense with 34 shots and 19 on goal. AUM had only 10 shots (3 in second half) and five were on target. Lee keeper Taylor Green recorded three saves and Warhawks keeper Dejon Fletcher had 12.
"The nice thing about tonight was the execution," injected Hennessey. "We had a good week of training and knew because of how they set defensively that we could get into some space and attack. It was really nice to rotate in some players and keep everyone fresh for a quick turnaround on Sunday. Montevallo is a quality opponent."