No. 8 seed Georgia Southern 1, No. 1 seed UNCG 0
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The eighth-seeded Georgia Southern’s women’s soccer team took an upset victory over No. 1 seed UNCG for the second straight year in the opening round of the SoCon Women’s Soccer Championship. The Eagles scored with 1:48 remaining on Nora El-Shami’s fifth goal of the season.
With the win, GSU will face Elon in the SoCon semifinals on Friday in Birmingham, Ala. The semifinals and championship match will be hosted by Samford at the Samford Track and Soccer Stadium.
The Spartans took the majority of shots in the contest, leading GSU 12-5 in the total shot count. It was GSU’s goalkeeper, Katie Merson, who kept the Eagles in the contest, making four saves including three in the second half.
With time winding down and the teams tied at 0-0, El-Shami got free on a breakaway. The freshman fired a shot that UNCG keeper Jamie Simmons got a hand on but could not prevent from crossing the line for the game-winner.
The victorious Eagles improved to 9-7-4 on the year, while UNCG ended its season at 12-7-1, surrendering its first goal since Oct. 5 and ending a run of six straight shutouts.
In the 13th minute, UNCG freshman Katherine Rodriguez took a shot on goal but Merson made the save.
In the second half, UNCG had a great opportunity in the 60th minute as senior Stephanie Partenheimer launched a shot from outside the box and Merson made a diving save.
UNCG would continue to get opportunities with six corners in the second half, but the Spartans could not convert. In addition to its 12 shots, the Blue and Gold finished the game with 10 corners.
The contest marked the final game for UNCG seniors Partenheimer, Lauren Hein, Karin Sendel, Cat Barnekow, Tinna Bergthorsdottir and Jessi Gulledge.
No. 7 seed College of Charleston 2, No. 2 seed Samford 1
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The College of Charleston women’s soccer team downed Samford, 2-1, to advance to the semifinals of the Southern Conference Tournament on Sunday afternoon.
The Cougars, as the seventh seed, struck first for the 12th time this season with a header by Haley Hutchens and Michaela Herrmann netted the game winner after second-seeded Samford had equalized late in the first half.
The Cougars advance to the tournament semifinals, also hosted by Samford in Birmingham, Ala. The Cougars will take on three-seed Furman on Friday at 7:30 p.m. (CST).
The Cougars (7-11-1) were dominant in the early going and created a wealth of scoring chances immediately after the opening whistle. They finally broke through on one such chance in the 20th minute when McCallie Jones sent an attractive ball into the box on a corner kick and Hutchens rose above the crowd to head the ball into the net for the 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs would insert themselves back into the match after falling behind and equalized in the 33rd minute when Adrianne Mancino sent a high-arching cross into the box and Katie Danehy was positioned to head the ball into the net.
The goal was Danehy’s first of the season, while Mancino’s assist was her team-high sixth of the campaign.
The teams headed into the intermission deadlocked at 1-1 after CofC outshot Samford, 10-5, in the opening period.
The Bulldogs were more offensively oriented in the second half and CofC’s defense weathered Samford’s 15 second-half shot attempts.
Late in regulation, the match started to flow rapidly from end to end with both sides creating a flurry of chances as a potential overtime period drew near.
In the 84th minute, Jackie Weston moved the ball to Herrmann on the left flank, and Herrmann’s shot to the far post was precisely placed to slip inside the post for the 2-1 Cougar lead.
Samford dictated a sense of urgency as its elimination now loomed, producing four consecutive shots and three corner kicks in the remaining minutes, but the Cougar defensive corps was up to the task and preserved the win.
Sophomores Brittany Hoffman and Amanda Abbott paced Samford’s offensive attack with five shots apiece. Hoffman, the Bulldogs’ talented native of Knoxville, Tenn., registered a trio of shots on goal, while Abbott tallied one.
Samford concluded its 2012 campaign with an 11-7-2 overall record, including an 8-1-2 mark against SoCon opponents. The Bulldogs will return eight starters next season but will be without the play of graduating seniors Sabbath McKiernan-Allen, Kaley Blanton and Mancino.
The Cougars will now prepare for Friday’s match against Furman, a rematch CofC’s 1-0 win on a late goal on Sept. 23 at Patriots Point.
No. 3 seed Furman 3, No. 6 seed Davidson 2
GREENVILLE, S.C. – Third-seeded Furman netted three first-half goals and held off a late Davidson rally to down the Wildcats, 3-2, in the Southern Conference Women’s Soccer Championship quarterfinal round on Sunday afternoon on Seagraves Field at Stone Stadium.
With the victory, Furman advances to Friday’s semifinal round to face College of Charleston in an 8:30 p.m. ET match in Birmingham, Ala. The Cougars, the tournament’s seventh seed, knocked off second-seeded Samford 2-1 in Birmingham on Sunday afternoon.
Furman (15-3-2) wasted little time breaking the deadlock as sophomore India Robinson gave the Paladins a 1-0 lead at the 7:26 mark with her first goal of the season. The Paladins were awarded a free kick on the sideline and 18 yards out from the goal line after a Davidson player was whistled for a hand ball. Robinson curled her free kick toward the near post and the 30-yard shot slipped between Davidson goalkeeper Rachel Locke and the woodwork to put Furman ahead.
Only seven minutes later, Robinson triggered the Paladin attack again by notching her team-best eighth assist of the season as Furman claimed a 2-0 lead. The Camden, S.C., native sent a cross from the left side to the far side post that Stephanie DeVita headed into the path of Martha Hall. The senior tapped in the pass for her fourth goal of the season and 35th career tally at the 14:43 mark.
DeVita, a freshman from Simpsonville, S.C., put Furman ahead 3-0 with the eventual game-winning goal at the 22:26 mark as Alyssa Althoff placed a perfect cross from the left wing to the back post for the Hillcrest High School product to head past Locke. The deciding goal marked DeVita’s league-leading 19th goal and seventh match-winning tally of 2012. She also leads all freshmen in NCAA Division I with her 19 goals.
Davidson (7-10-3) forced Furman to defend much of the second half as the Wildcats tried to mount a rally. Natalie Spach managed to put the Wildcats on the board at 66:23 as Julie Calhoun played a cross to the middle of the box for the freshman to tuck into the left corner. The goal was the first of Spach’s career.
With under a minute to play, Calhoun gave Davidson hope by running onto Renae Cairns’ goal kick and firing a shot past Paladin goalkeeper Rose Hull with 32 seconds remaining, but Furman ran out the final seconds to claim its sixth straight win and fourth consecutive victory over the Wildcats.
Hull, a freshman, stopped five shots for the Paladins to improve to 13-2-2 in goal. Locke took the loss for Davidson after giving up three goals without recording a save in less than 23 minutes of action.
The Wildcats outshot Furman 18-12 and held a 6-3 edge in corner kicks earned, but Davidson attempted only seven shots on goal.
Furman’s triumph was its seventh straight win over Davidson in SoCon Tournament play and brought the Paladins’ all-time postseason record versus the Wildcats to 7-1-1.
The winner of Friday’s semifinal match between Furman and Charleston will advance to face either Elon or Georgia Southern in the SoCon championship match on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m. ET in Birmingham.
No. 5 seed Elon 1, No. 4 seed Appalachian State 0
BOONE, N.C. – Jaclyn Wood’s first-half goal and a strong effort from the Phoenix defense lifted the fifth-seeded Elon University women’s soccer team to a 1-0 shutout against No. 4 seed Appalachian State on Sunday in the Southern Conference Tournament quarterfinals at the ASU Soccer Stadium.
Elon (7-8-6) advances to the SoCon Tournament semifinals and takes on eighth-seeded Georgia Southern on Friday at the Samford Track and Soccer Stadium in Birmingham, Ala. The match will begin at 5 p.m. (CT). Georgia Southern upset top-seeded UNCG, 1-0, in the SoCon Tournament quarterfinals Sunday in Greensboro, N.C.
One day following her 22nd birthday, Wood put the Phoenix ahead 1-0 in the 33rd minute after she struck the ball into the back of the net near the left post following an Olivia Mackey corner kick. The corner deflected off an ASU defender and Wood blasted in the loose ball from about 10 yards away for her second goal of the season.
Elon carried the one-goal lead into intermission, despite trailing the Mountaineers in total shots (7-3) and shots on target (3-1).
Chelsey Stark nearly put the Maroon and Gold ahead by two goals in the 53rd minute, but her strike from the center of the box sailed just left of the goal. The junior from Chapel Hill, N.C., nearly did it again in the 77th minute, but the ASU defense blocked her shot in front of the goal to hold the Phoenix to just one goal.
The Mountaineers could not find much rhythm up front from the seven-forward rotation. Freshman forward Samantha Childress recorded three shots on goal while the Phoenix defense focused on Appalachian State’s leading goal-scorer, sophomore Julia Holz. Holz was unable to get off a shot for the 65 minutes she was on the field. It was just the fifth time Holz did not record a shot this season.
Kate Murphy earned the clean sheet for the Phoenix, playing all 90 minutes. The shutout was Murphy’s sixth of the year, as the Sterling, Va., native registered six saves.
The shutout is Elon’s eighth of the season, the most since the team also recorded eight in 2009. The Phoenix recorded nine clean sheets during the 1999 season, the most at the Division I level.
Appalachian State (10-8-1) ended its 2012 campaign with its sixth winning season in program history and just its fifth season with 10 or more victories.
Appalachian State’s defense was also stellar for the match but was unable to nab its equalizer. Keeper Megan Roberson did not record a save, as Elon tallied just two shots on goal with one being Wood’s goal and the other being a kick save from junior defender Amy Werdine.
Appalachian State senior Taylor Dunlap finished her career with 74 starts, placing her in a tie for third all-time in career starts in program history. The Mountaineers will return six of their 11 starters from Sunday afternoon’s match for the 2013 season.