UNCG 1, Samford 0
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Freshman Katherine Rodriguez headed home the game-winning goal in the 41st minute to ignite UNCG women’s soccer to a 1-0 win against Samford on Friday night at Samford Track and Soccer Stadium. The Spartans overtook the Bulldogs for first place in the Southern Conference with the win and snapped Samford’s 22-game conference unbeaten streak.
UNCG continued its road dominance in the SoCon as the Spartans are unbeaten in their last 19 road games. With the victory, the Spartans improved to 10-6-1 overall and a SoCon-leading 7-1-1 conference record. The Bulldogs fell to 9-6-2 with a 6-1-2 mark in the SoCon. UNCG picked up its fourth straight shutout and all have been 1-0 victories.
The Blue and Gold now control their own destiny with just two games remaining in the conference schedule.
Freshman goalkeeper Jamie Simmons picked up her sixth shutout of the season after collecting four saves. Simmons has pushed her shutout streak to a season-high 409:20.
UNCG’s back line, led by seniors Cat Barnekow and Tinna Bergthorsdottir, did another stellar job in stopping a powerful Samford attack.
UNCG took a 1-0 lead into halftime after junior Nitang Jones placed a perfect corner kick into the box, where Rodriguez headed home her second goal of the season.
Both teams came out firing as Samford’s Kaley Blanton hit the post in the first minute, while Bulldogs keeper Melissa Montgomery saved a Barnekow shot just two minutes into the contest.
Simmons faced 11 shots during the first half and made two saves to keep the Spartans ahead.
In the second half, the Spartans held off Samford as Simmons made two key saves in the final 15 minutes of action.
Late in the match, with close to five minutes remaining in regulation, junior Michelle Moll nearly tied the score with a right-footed shot that just missed the far corner of the goal. On the play, Samford’s Joy Grove sent in a beautiful forwarding pass to Moll as she was camped out on the left flank. She gathered the pass, shifted past a UNCG defender and skipped a shot that skimmed the outside of the right post.
Samford dominated the pace of play Friday and outshot UNCG by a margin of 19-6. Montgomery, the reigning SoCon Player of the Week, finished with a pair of saves.
UNCG remains on the road to face Chattanooga on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Chattanooga, Tenn. Samford will next be in action Sunday at 2 p.m. (CDT) as the Bulldogs remain at home for another key SoCon matchup with the Elon Phoenix to be held at the Samford Track and Soccer Stadium.
The Citadel 3, Appalachian State 2
BOONE, N.C. – The Citadel women's soccer team netted two late goals to come from behind in the second half and nab a 3-2 victory over Appalachian State in a Friday night Southern Conference battle.
The win improved the Bulldogs' overall record to 5-10-1 and conference record to 3-5-1 with two games remaining. Appalachian State fell to 8-7-1 on the season and 4-3-1 in the league play.
Jannel Johnson had a career day as the freshman netted the game's first goal in the 18th minute and the game-winner in the 81st to record her fourth and fifth goals of the season.
Johnson opened up the scoring in the 18th minute when she collected a pass from Grace Raines and drove it past Mountaineer goalkeeper Megan Roberson.
Appalachian State would answer back minutes later when Samantha Childress fired a 20-yard shot over the head of Bulldog keeper Sarah Katchen to even the game at one goal apiece.
The Bulldogs kept Roberson busy for the remainder of the first half as five shots were sprayed on net but to no avail as the half ended with the game knotted up at 1-1.
It took just 11 minutes into the second half for the Mountaineers to break the tie as Julia Holz collected a through ball from Jamie Lockie and directed it into the top right corner to give her team the 2-1 edge.
ASU held the advantage until the 78th minute when all-time Bulldog goals leader Mariana Garcia collected an Anastasia Mesa pass in the box and deflected it into the net for her 13th of the season and the game's equalizer.
The assist was Mesa's sixth of the season, tying teammate Vanessa Aponte for most in a season in program history.
Minutes later, a corner kick by Ruth Leiva dropped into the box and found the foot of Johnson, who found the back of the net for what would prove to be the game-winner as the Bulldogs topped the Mountaineers by a score of 3-2 for the second consecutive season.
Despite the Mountaineers outshooting the Bulldogs 17-15, the Cadets were able to trouble Roberson 10 times, compared to App State’s six shots on goal, with Childress leading the team with two.
The Citadel will close out its final weekend conference match on Sunday when it heads to Cullowhee, N.C., to take on Western Carolina at 2 p.m.
The Mountaineers return to the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex on Sunday for Senior Day to honor the four seniors on this season’s roster. The Mountaineers will face College of Charleston as kickoff is set for 2 p.m.
Elon 5, Chattanooga 0
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Elon University women’s soccer team got two first-half goals from Catherine Brinkman and never looked back on Friday night at Finley Stadium, as the Phoenix claimed a 5-0 victory over the Chattanooga Lady Mocs.
Elon improved to 6-6-6 overall and 4-1-4 in Southern Conference play with the win. The Phoenix is unbeaten in its last seven matches with the victory, and the team has allowed only five goals in nine league contests this season. The shutout is the third straight for the Phoenix and seventh of the season.
Brinkman unleashed a pair of back-to-back goals in the 29th and 30th minutes of the first half to give the Maroon and Gold an early 2-0 lead. Rookies Mel Insley and Nicole Dennion earned the assists, respectively.
Just after the half, Olivia Mackey helped the Phoenix to a three-goal lead when her strike from the top of the 18-yard mark gave Elon some insurance.
The Phoenix tacked on two more in the second half after goals by Dennion (62’) and Taylor Glenn (66’).
Kate Murphy earned the start in goal for the Phoenix and played just over 66 minutes between the posts for Elon in the shutout. Shannon Cosgrove finished the final 23-plus minutes for Elon in goal and tallied one save.
Elon outshot Chattanooga 20-6, as the Phoenix put 12 shots on target in the win.
Chattanooga keeper Lauren Thomas recorded five saves on the night with sophomore Crystal Mackezyk recording three shots with one on goal.
The Phoenix returns to action in Birmingham, Ala., on Sunday at 3 p.m. (EST) against Samford. Chattanooga will host UNCG on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Finley Stadium. The Mocs will honor their five seniors, Jordan Middleton, Tayler Shelby, Becca Smith, Kelsey Swann and Lauren Wilson, prior to the start.
College of Charleston 3, Western Carolina 2 (OT)
CULLOWHEE, N.C. – The College of Charleston women’s soccer team solidified a 3-2, overtime win at Western Carolina in Southern Conference play on Friday evening. The Cougars jumped out to a 2-0 lead and weathered the Catamounts’ comeback before McCallie Jones scored the game-winner in the 98th minute.
The Catamounts came out firing in the overtime period and sailed a pair of shots over the crossbar in the first minute. CofC overtook control of the play afterward, and Jones found some space on the right side and tucked her third goal of the season into the net to undo WCU’s comeback effort.
Freshman forward Jackie Weston scored her first goal as a Cougar to give CofC the early lead in the sixth minute, marking the 10th time the Cougars have scored first in a match. Weston netted the ball on a corner kick sent into the box by KateTwohig.
The Cougars padded their lead in the 41st minute indirectly off another corner kick play. On this play, Sarah Cardamone sent the ball into the box and Maryam Buazza converted the goal after WCU failed to clear the ball to safety.
The Cougars took the 2-0 lead into the intermission after the two corner-kick conversions on five such first-half opportunities.
The Catamounts reinserted themselves into the match in the second period, however, and freshman striker Markie-Lynn Studnicky scored her eighth and ninth goals of the season to equalize the match.
CofC has been plagued by an 18-7 second-half goal disadvantage this season.
Studnicky first scored in the 60th minute after receiving a pass in the box from Laura Greb and then equalized the match in the 81st minute off an individual effort from the top of the penalty area.
The Catamounts fell to 6-9-2 and 2-5-2 in the Southern Conference, while College of Charleston improved to 5-10-1 and 4-4-1 in the SoCon. The loss by Western Carolina makes Sunday’s game with The Citadel crucial for the Catamounts’ bid for a spot in the eight-team Southern Conference Tournament. A win over The Citadel would give Western Carolina a good shot at making the tournament. A loss all but ends its chances.
The win goes a long way to shore up the Cougars’ postseason fate, but the race is still wide open with several teams vying for the privilege to extend their campaigns past the regular season. The Cougars currently sit in a four-way tie for the third seed with two games left to play. Eight teams make the SoCon Tournament with the top four seeds hosting opening-round matches.
CofC continues the season with a Sunday afternoon tilt at Appalachian State, one of the teams the Cougars are tied with, and end the season at home against crosstown rival The Citadel on Wednesday. WCU hosts The Citadel on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Davidson 2, Wofford 1
DAVIDSON, N.C. – Sophomore forward Stephanie Piperno had her second career two-goal game and Davidson pushed its series unbeaten streak to 10 games vs. Wofford with a 2-1 win on Senior Night on Friday at Alumni Stadium in Southern Conference women’s soccer action.
The Wildcats (7-7-3, 5-3-1 SoCon) ran their record to 7-0-3 in the last 10 meetings vs. Wofford (6-8-2, 1-6-2 SoCon) and improved to 15-3-3 all-time in the series.
After Wofford’s Maggie Bosley tied things up before halftime, Piperno struck for the game-winner at the 61:53 mark when she bent a shot in off the side post for her fourth goal of the season.
The sophomore’s first goal of the game came just seven minutes into the contest.
Goalkeeper Rachel Locke made the 2-1 score hold up by finishing with four saves to move her record to 6-6-2 on the year. Kimberly Cohn finished with a pair of saves for Wofford.
The Terriers had a three-shot advantage, 13-10, but Davidson won the corner kick battle at 4-3.
The Wildcats conclude their 2012 home schedule with a 2 p.m. contest vs. rival Furman on Sunday. The Terriers return to action Sunday when they travel to Statesboro, Ga., to face the Eagles of Georgia Southern. The match is set to kick off at 2 p.m.