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Nicole Auger
Nicole Auger scored the game winner for the Bears in the 83rd minute.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Soccer Outlasts Belmont Abbey

After Belmont Abbey tied the game 1-1 in the 79th minute, Freshman Nicole Auger scored her first career goal to give the Bears a 2-1 lead less than three minutes later as the Bears held on for the non-conference victory. Kara Gavaghan scored her second goal of the season in the first half as the Bears move to 5-2-2 on the season. LR has only given up nine goals in their nine games this year.

The Bears got on the board early in the 18th minute when Stephanie Figueiredo’s shot got saved, but Gavaghan was there for the tap-in rebound to give the Bears a 1-0 lead. Gavaghan’s goal was the 11th career goal for the junior.

Both teams had five corners in the first half. LR came into the game 48th in the nation averaging 5.5 corners per game. LR out-shot the Crusaders 8-4 in the half, and six of the eight shots were on goal.

The Crusaders got the equalizer in the 79th minute when Alyssa Espinosa connected to beat S.A. Phillips to tie the game at one.

The Bears responded less than three minutes later when Auger received the pass at the edge of the box and beat the Crusader keeper to the upper near post to gave the Bears the lead back. Auger’s goal in the 83rd minute is the second time the Bears have scored in the final minutes of a game this year. In the season opener, Elin Hansson scored in the 85th minute to tie Lees-McRae.

Phillips made three saves in goal to pick up her fifth victory of the year.

The Bears had a season-high 11 corner kicks. LR had nine against Anderson last Wednesday.

This is the first meeting between these schools since the 2018 season with Belmont Abbey winning the last two.

The Bears came into their 8th game of the season allowing only 8 goals so far. Last year, the Bears only allowed 19 goals in 23 games.

Lenoir-Rhyne is now 5-2-2 overall. The Bears will return home on Saturday to celebrate senior night before a rivalry game against Wingate. Kick off is schedule for 7:30 PM with senior day celebration before the game.