GREENWOOD – Senior forward Hannah Martin netted a career-high three goals as the Lander women's soccer team dispatched rival Erskine 3-1 in front of 257 fans at Van Taylor Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Martin, who entered the match with just one career goal, became the first Bearcat to record a hat trick since Brianna Taylor scored three goals in last season's opener against Emmanuel. With the win, Lander moves to 3-0 for the first time since 2013. The 257 fans marked the eighth-largest crowd in women's soccer history at Van Taylor Stadium.
"The girls played hard," said head coach Chris Ayer. "We're young, so we still make some mistakes, but they played hard and we got a good result. Hannah did well and finished three that were really important to us."
The Bearcats (3-0) outshot the Flying Fleet (0-2) in the first half 15-1 and held a 2-0 lead entering halftime.
Lander found the net first, striking in the 27th minute on a Martin shot from the center of the box off a pass from Sara Flores. Just over two minutes later, Martin found the net again on a long pass from Emily Jermstad that the senior corraled and fired past the Erskine keeper.
The Flying Fleet would not go down without a fight, however. Just 44 seconds into the second half, Katie Cauble found Kayla Kieffer, who lobbed a shot over Lander's Sarah Owen for Erskine's first goal of the match.
Martin put the match away at the 69:11 mark, as Kari George delivered a pass inside the box and Martin slipped the shot just inside the right post to put Lander ahead 3-1.
Martin and Kari George led the way for the Bearcat offense with six and five shots, respectively.
The Bearcats will be back in action on Saturday, taking on Wingate at 7:00 p.m. at Van Taylor Stadium.