Dayton, Tenn. – The breakout season for the freshman forward from Athens, Tenn., Makena Giles (FR/Athens, Tenn.), continued as she produced back-to-back hat trick performances following Saturday's demolishing of fellow Appalachian Athletic Conference school, St. Andrews University (N.C.) in Bryan's conference opener. Giles found the back of the net on three different occasions in the Lions Women's Soccer 5-2 victory at Life University (Ga.) on Sept. 13, and accomplished another trio of goals in the 9-0 shutout of the Knights. It was a complete team effort as six other Lions helped Bryan set a record for the most goals in a single game in recorded history and largest winning margin for the team on Bryan Hill; Ruth Rosales (SR/El Salto, Mexico), Sarah Farlett, Mya Patel (FR/Cleveland, Tenn.), Ana Ramirez (JR/Garland, Texas), Polly Holt (SR/Knoxville, Tenn.), and Anna Sanders (SO/Chattanooga, Tenn.) all delivered one goal, respectively.
Trailing last year's winningest season in recorded history by Bryan, Head Coach Paul Babba and the Lions have set a notable pace this year with a 3-2 overall mark and 1-0 record in AAC play. The loss dealt to St. Andrews keeps the Knights winless at 0-3.
One half was all it took for Bryan to stun St. Andrews as the Lions fired off 13 shots while holding the Knights to one look. Bryan's first goal came at 12:54 when defender Polly Holt got in on the offensive attack by hitting an open Ruth Rosales, who took it to the house and put the Lions on the board, 1-0. 10 minutes passed before Johanna Rappe (FR/Nordhausen, Germany) served up the first of her three assists in the contest after finding Giles for the 2-0 advantage. Bryan would allow only two minutes to expire off the clock before extending their lead by three when Rosales dribbled through St. Andrews players, connected with Rappe, who locked in with Giles once again. Giles slotted a shot past the Knight's goalkeeper, allowing the Lions a comfortable 3-0 lead. Farlett was subbed in with 12:40 remaining in the first half and took no time to go to work, applying pressure with nonstop pushes on offense. She remained patient and at 43:11 saw a window and capitalized after receiving a pass from Mary Mai Berchtold (JR/Wake Forest, N.C.) and burying a shot into the back of the net. Farlett's first career goal put Bryan on top 4-0 at the break.
Patel burst on the scene as the second half got underway and netted her first career goal in less than five minutes. The score by Patel happened at the 48-minute mark when Berchtold weaved the ball to Patel, who slipped by a pair of Knights before unleashing a rocket into the goal, giving Bryan a 5-0 advantage. Patel nearly scored a second goal after receiving a pass from Yarahi Hernandez (JR/Garland, Texas), but Ramirez corralled Patel's miss and took advantage on the second-chance look for her second career goal, giving the Lions a 6-0 lead.
Four minutes later, the terrific trio of Rosales, Rappe, and Giles repeated what they had accomplished in the first half with Rosales finding Rappe and Rappe continuing the ball to Giles where she nabbed her third goal of the competition. The Lions would edge out the Knights 7-0 for less than three minutes before Holt, an anchor on Bryan's back line, stepped up to a penalty kick and easily sold St. Andrews keeper before rolling the ball to the bottom left corner of the net. In her fourth season, the assist and goal were the first-ever for Holt. Before coasting to an 8-0 final, Sanders took her turn with a picturesque shot from deep. As the Lions and Knights struggled for possession, Sanders swept in and dribbled the ball towards the top right corner of the box before defenders cut her off. Sanders has proven to have power in her shot, and instead of continuing the attack, she squared herself up with the goal and zipped an unstoppable shot in the top right corner of the goal for the final score of the game, giving Bryan a 9-0 win.
"The girls worked hard today," said Coach Babba. "We enjoyed watching our attacking strategies finally start to pay off, but it was important for us to keep a clean sheet as well. The whole team contributed today, which was nice. We talk a lot about continuous improvement and pursuing excellence, no matter the opponent or score. I was proud to see our girls keep their focus and discipline through the game. We will enjoy this win tonight, then we start preparing to face Reinhardt on Tuesday."
The Lions finished with 22 total shots and 12 on target, while the Knights only scraped up three shots and one that fell on goal. Giles' team-leading three goals put her at seven goals on the year, tying her for the top spot in the AAC. The three assists tallied by Rappe and two assists by Rosales make them leaders at the conference level in total assists.
Bryan continues conference play on Tuesday, Sept. 19 when they host the Eagles of Reinhardt University (Ga.) at 4:30pm.
To view the full 2017 women's soccer schedule, click here.