HICKORY, N.C. -- Pfeiffer midfielder Ashleigh Kassab recorded her eleventh career hat trick as the Falcons secured their season opener defeating Lenoir-Rhyne by a score of 12-7.

Pfeiffer won its fifth consecutive season opener as they begin the season 1-0, handing the Bears their first loss on the season as Lenoir-Rhyne drops to 1-1.

The Bears won the first draw of the game; however, it was the Falcons who struck first as Kristi Korn capitalized on a failed clear attempt to net her first goal of the season just 1:22 into the game. From that point on, it proved to be all Pfeiffer as Stephanie Athens added one goal and Sarah Daly tallied two goals en route to four unanswered goals to start the game.

Lenoir-Rhyne responded with back-to-back goals, cutting the Pfeiffer lead to two with 6:28 left in the first period.

The Falcons spoiled any thought of a comeback as they outscored the Bears 3-1, with Kassab’s first goal coming with one second left on the clock to take a 7-3 advantage heading into the break.

The Falcons and Bears traded goal-for-goal, with Lenoir-Rhyne never cutting into the lead as Pfeiffer outscored the Bears 5-4 in the second half. 

Pfeiffer was led offensively by Kassab who tallied three goals and one assist. Athens also notched two goals and one assist for the Falcons.

Rachel McCarthy registered her first win on the season as she recorded eight saves.