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Wednesday's women's soccer roundup
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 10/28/2015
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Wofford's Mary Beth Bleekrode
Courtesy: Wofford Athletics
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No. 7 seed Wofford 3, No. 10 seed The Citadel 0

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Wofford women’s soccer team defeated The Citadel Bulldogs on Wednesday night 3-0 at Snyder Field to move on to the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference tournament.

The Terriers (6-7-4, 3-4-2 SoCon) scored once in the first half and added two more insurance goals in the second to come away with the victory over the Bulldogs (1-19, 0-9 SoCon).

Wofford’s first goal came in the 24th minute. Midfielder Hayley Younginer served a pass across the middle to midfielder Mary Beth Bleekrode, who took two touches to her right before firing a shot toward the net. Bulldog goalkeeper Kim Mora was not able to get a hand on the shot, giving the Terriers a 1-0 lead.

Bleekrode’s goal was her fourth of the season and her 12th goal of her career. Younginer earned her second assist of the season on Bleekrode’s goal.

Wofford limited The Citadel to only two first-half shots, with one shot from midfielder Katherine Arroyo coming on goal that Terrier goalkeeper Alex Carroll saved.

A foul outside the box set up the Terriers for their second goal in the 65th minute. Midfielder Emily Gaid took the set shot from just outside the box and hooked it past the Bulldog defense and into the right side of the net for her second goal of the season. Gaid has now scored a goal in two straight matches.

The Terrier defense proved stout once again in the second half, limiting The Citadel in shot opportunities while also denying the Bulldogs any corner attempts in the match.

An own goal in the last minute of the match gave Wofford the 3-0 final score. Forward Carlyn Fralick had the ball on the left side and attempted to cross it to Younginer, but a Bulldog defender jumped in front of the pass and knocked it past the keeper into the net.

The Bulldogs changed keepers to start the second half, turning to Abby Koger to finish out the match. Koger and Mora combined for 10 saves in the match, with each making five saves.

Carroll played all 90 minutes in net for the Terriers, finishing the match with two saves.

The Terriers now advance to the quarterfinals of the postseason tournament for the second straight season, with their next opponent being a rematch with No. 2 seed Furman, which ended the Terriers’ 2014 season.

Furman will host Wofford on Sunday in the quarterfinals, with the match set to start at 2 p.m. at Stone Soccer Stadium.

 

No. 9 seed VMI 0, No. 8 seed 0 (2OT, VMI in PKs, 3-2)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Demetra Protogyrou scored to start round seven of a penalty-kick shootout, and Darien Dunham capped a spectacular performance with a save on Peyton McCollum as the VMI Keydets prevailed in a shootout, 3-2, over the Chattanooga Mocs in the first round of the 2015 Southern Conference Women's Soccer Championship on Wednesday night. The match officially is recorded as a 0-0 tie with VMI advancing, 3-2, and reaching the second round of a conference tournament for the first time since 2009.

Neither team could score in regulation, but McKenzie Gregg beat Dunham in the opening round of the shootout and UTC (4-12-3, 2-6-1) went up 2-0 after Skylar Brewer scored in round three. Amy Horney and Dunham herself got the Keydets (6-12-2, 2-7) on the board, however, and Dunham stopped Samantha Hogan with the match on the line in round five.

That sent the contest to extra attempts, and after Sydnie Bligh was stopped in round six, the Mocs rushed the field and dogpiled about 30 yards from the goal. After the confusion was resolved, Dunham saved a UTC attempt to bring up Protogyrou, who went low right on Lauren Thomas to give the Keydets the lead, 3-2. A Dunham save on McCollum, her fourth straight save in the shootout, set off the VMI celebration.

With the success in the shootout, the Keydets have advanced in two of their three shootouts in program history. UTC finished the match with a 16-10 edge in shots and a 9-4 advantage in corners. Protogyrou, meanwhile, had the winning attempt after playing just 202 minutes on the season and logging four shots in 16 games.

The early stages of the match foretold the eventual drama, as both keepers made saves on penalty-kick attempts. Bligh was stopped in the 16th minute, and Dunham turned aside McCollum in the 25th to keep the match scoreless.

It would remain 0-0 at the break, and the teams traded opportunities early in the second half. Dunham stopped McCollum and Gregg, however, and Bligh was stopped on a pair of attempts in the 58th minute. The game then settled into a great deal of midfield play until the final moments of the second half. Dunham tipped a Masey Fox try over the bar with 30 seconds to go in regulation to send the contest to extra time.

After neither team had a shot on goal in the first OT, Lauren Thomas saved an Olivia Cotton try in the 108th minute. Cotton had fought through three defenders to tip the ball toward the goal, but Thomas was up to the task. That was the final shot of overtime and set up the penalty-kick dramatics.

Dunham was credited with nine saves and will have a chance to set the school record for saves in VMI's game Saturday evening at Samford. Thomas made four saves for UTC.

VMI women's soccer now advances to the quarterfinals of the 2015 SoCon Women's Soccer Championship and will face top-seeded Samford. Kickoff in Birmingham, Ala., is set for 8 p.m. Eastern time.

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