by Benny Benton
BANNER ELK, N.C. – Barton College and Lees-McRae College battled to a 2-2 double-overtime tie in both teams' Conference Carolinas opener Saturday at Tate Field.
Barton (1-2-1, 0-0-1) enjoyed a 2-0 lead at the 70-minute mark, but the Bobcats (0-2-1, 0-0-1) scored a pair of late goals down the stretch to force overtime. The Lady Bulldogs took nine of the 11 shots attempted in the two ten-minute overtime periods, but could not convert one into a golden goal.
Junior Jordyn Brown put BC in front with a goal in the 35th minute. The score was her third goal in the past two matches and team-leading fourth of the year.
After taking that 1-0 advantage into intermission, Barton added to its lead in the 52nd minute when sophomore Rebekah Beal scored on a goal that included double assists from Taylor Doeble and Laisy Scardazzi
Lees-McRae cut the deficit to 2-1 in the 72nd minute on a through ball up the middle from Autumn Esposito to Riley Neese. Ten minutes later, with just under nine minutes remaining in regulation, Neese struck again with the equalizer, putting away a deflection off an Allyna Ankney pass.
Barton took all four shots in the first overtime period, and continued to press in the second extra frame by taking five of the seven total attempts. However, Lees-McRae keeper Alexis Feely recorded four of her 11 saves in overtime to preserve the tie.
BC keeper Haley Sauls posted five saves in the contest, three of those in the first half of regulation.
The Lady Bulldogs held a 27-18 edge in total shots, while the Bobcats enjoyed a slight 4-3 edge in corner kicks.
Barton will play its first home conference match on Wednesday when the Lady Bulldogs host Converse College in a 6 p.m. start at the Barton Outdoor Athletics Complex.