Kimbell's hat trick lifts Panthers to 4-1 victory over Rhodes

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—A strong first-half performance and a hat trick by sophomore Bailey Kimbell helped the Birmingham-Southern women's soccer team defeat Rhodes College, 4-1, Sunday afternoon in Memphis.

The win improves the Panthers' conference record to 4-1, with an overall record of 8-4-1.

The Panthers got on the board early and often in the first half. In the 11tth minute, senior Alicia Plotky found space behind the Lynx defense and crossed the ball back towards the net, where Kimbell used a half-chance to hit a one-time shot past the Rhodes keeper, Stephanie Sermonet.

Kimbell had another opportunity in the 34th minute when, thanks to a long ball sent into the Panthers' attacking half by sophomore Jamie Sullivan, Kimbell found herself in a breakaway against the Lynx keeper, who made a great first initial save on Kimbell's attempt. However, a rebound was given up right into the path of Kimbell's charge towards goal, which she buried into the back of the net.

Before the first half drew to a close, senior Linda Amaya found herself with space to shoot about 35 yards away from the goal. She fired a driven shot to put the Panthers up 3-0 after 45 minutes of play.

The Lynx came into the second half with a much more energized effort. For about sixteen minutes, BSC had to ride out the offensive pressure they were put under. In the 62nd minute, BSC put together its own offensive attack. Plotky found herself with room to run in the middle of the field. After taking the ball wide, she found Kimbell once more making a penetrating run behind the defense. Kimbell, showing great composure, managed to get the shot off before the Rhodes keeper closed down her angle and gave the Panthers a 4-0 lead.

The Lynx were not to be denied a scoring opportunity, and found a way to put a goal on the board after a nice strike from distance by Maddy Esther.

Kimbell finished the game with seven points from her hat trick and her assist to Amaya. Senior Amber Hernandez was credited with the win between the pipes, making six saves on the day.

The Panthers are back on the pitch Saturday, Oct. 22, against the Stormy Petrels of Oglethorpe. The game is set for a 1 p.m. Eastern kickoff in Atlanta.