Wofford, The Citadel Advance in SoCon Tourney
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 10/29/2014
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Wofford's Mary Beth Bleekrode
Courtesy: Wofford Athletics

No. 9 seed The Citadel 3, No. 8 seed VMI 0

LEXINGTON, Va. – The Citadel earned the second Southern Conference tournament victory in the 14-year history of the women's soccer program on Wednesday with a 3-0 victory over VMI on a rainy day in Lexington, Va.

The Bulldogs (7-13) will return Samford for a second-round game on Saturday at 8 p.m. The teams played last Friday, also in Birmingham, Ala., with Samford (12-7) rallying in the second half for a 3-1 win before clinching the SoCon regular-season title with a 1-0 victory over Mercer on Sunday.

The Citadel got the only goal it would need against the Keydets (3-15-1) in the fifth minute when Mady Riegel finished a flurry of four successive shots with her seventh goal of the season. Two shots were saved by VMI keeper Sydnie Bligh before Riegel hit the post, corralled the loose ball and put it in for an early 1-0 advantage.

It stayed just a one-goal lead at halftime despite a huge statistical advantage for the Bulldogs. The Citadel had 11 shots and seven on goal over the opening 45 minutes to only one and zero, respectively, for the Keydets. Bligh made three saves in a span of six minutes midway through the half, and Vanessa Aponte was denied by Bligh on a close-range direct kick in the 34th minute.

The Bulldogs needed only 10 minutes in the second half to add their second goal, this time off the foot of Aponte. After a shot by Lea Raedle was saved, Aponte got the rebound and dribbled around Bligh to score for the 11th time this season and fourth in the past two games.

Aponte's goal was the 27th of her career, ranking her third in school history and only one behind Kelly Pesterfield for second. Aponte is also first with 19 assists and second in points with 73, six behind former teammate Mariana Garcia.

Raedle was credited with the assist and has seven in each of her first two seasons at The Citadel, including a school-record four against Chattanooga on Sunday. That total is tied with Aponte (in 2012) for the most in one season in school history, and Raedle's 14 career assists are second only to Aponte.

Raedle finished the scoring in the 89th minute when she tallied her eighth goal of the year.

Sam Millspaugh started in goal in place of the injured Naomi Carter and was forced to make only three saves. Bligh had nine saves for the Keydets. The Bulldogs finished with a 20-8 edge in shots, 12-3 in shots on goal and 6-4 in corner kicks.


No. 7 seed Wofford 5, No. 10 seed Chattanooga 0

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – A second-half surge sent the Wofford College women’s soccer team ahead for the win, 5-0, over the 10th-seeded Mocs of Chattanooga on Wednesday to advance to a quarterfinal match of the Southern Conference Women’s Soccer Championship on Sunday.

The seventh-seeded Terriers head to Greenville, S.C., to play the No. 2-seeded Furman Paladins. The last matchup between the two sides was on Oct. 12, when Furman toppled the Terriers, 4-2, at Snyder Field.

Wofford heavily outweighed Chattanooga’s offense, winning the shot column 34-6. Of the Terriers’ 34 shots, 19 were on frame. The Terriers utilized the bench, with 21 players seeing action in the evening’s game.

Wofford was held at bay in the first half, with only one goal to show through the first 45 minutes. Mary Beth Bleekrode struck the eventual game-winner in the 14th minute, blasting the ball from the right side of the net after smart passes from forwards Vicki Hill and Hannah Washko.

The Terrier offense then exploded for four goals in the second half.

Two quick scores less than a minute apart put Wofford up, 3-0, early on. At the 58:40 mark, Washko struck her fifth goal of the season on a headed corner from junior defender Katherine Whisenhunt. Washko then helped teammate Annika Jansson score 49 seconds later, passing the ball into the senior forward for a one-on-one situation with the keeper, where Jansson finished her fourth goal of the season.

Wofford had another quick pair, this time with 44 second dividing the two scores. The first came at the foot of Faith Lifer. Midfielder Maureen Buff slid to pass the ball ahead to Lifer in the box, where the sophomore forward struck the ball soundly for her fourth goal of the season. At the 84:10 mark, Mary Kathryn Macklen sent a long, lobbed through pass to Brianna LaFonantant, whose perfectly timed run resulted in an easy fifth goal for the Terriers.

Despite 14 saves, midfielder-turned-keeper McKenzie Gregg earned her first loss of the season for the Mocs, while Terriers’ senior keeper Kara Boggs logged her seventh win and fifth shutout of the 2014 campaign.

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