BANNER ELK – Sophomore forward Delia Allwood produced her first career hat-trick on Oct. 22, as the University of Mount Olive women’s soccer team captured a share of the Conference Carolinas regular season championship after a 4-3 win over Lees-McRae on the final day of conference action.
With the win, the Trojans registered their sixth-straight win and improved to 13-4 overall with an 11-1 record in league play. Mount Olive shares the honor with North Greenville this season after both teams finished with 33 points. The Trojans earned the No. 2 seed in the Conference Carolinas Tournament and receive a bye to the semifinals, which will be hosted on Friday, Nov. 4 in Browns Summit. Meanwhile, the Bobcats fell to 8-5-4 this season with a 7-3-2 mark in conference action.
Lees-McRae established an early 1-0 advantage just 53 seconds into the match after junior Gen Porsche found the back of the net. The Trojans quickly flipped possession to their attacking half of the field and tallied four shots, including three on goal, and three corner kicks in the span of 13-plus minutes.
In the 20th minute, UMO tied the match on a goal by freshman Addison Dangler after she received a long through ball and created her own opportunity on the top of the box to tie the game 1-1. Mount Olive increased the lead at the 26:14 mark after a long cross from Dangler found Allwood, who poked it past the goalkeeper for a 2-1 advantage. In the closing minutes of the half, sophomore Tianna Hill blasted a shot on goal that was saved, but Allwood collected the loose ball and scored for the second time in the match in the 35th minute to put the Trojans ahead 3-1.
After limited action in the opening 25-plus minutes of the second half, UMO extended the advantage to 4-1 after Allwood fired a shot just under the crossbar to complete the hat-trick performance at the 72:55 mark. The Bobcats countered under one minute later, as sophomore Lexi Hanson cut into the deficit to 4-2 following a goal. In the 79th minute, Lees-McRae was awarded a penalty kick, and senior Alexa Todd buried the shot into the net in make it 4-3 with just over 10 minutes remaining. The Trojans closed out the final minutes and held the Bobcats to zero shot attempts for the remainder of the match.
Senior goalkeeper Nicole Solicito earned the win after totaling two saves on eight shots faced in 90 minutes of action. The Trojans out-shot the Bobcats by a 16-8 margin, including a 13-5 edge in shots on goal, while posting a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks.
— From University of Mount Olive athletics