Gardner-Webb 4, UNC Asheville 3 (OT)
Boiling Springs, N.C. - Gardner-Webb overcame a three goal second-half deficit and Katie Soles delivered the game-clinching goal in the final seconds of overtime to propel the Runnin' Bulldogs to a 4-3 win over Asheville.
The comeback kids from Boiling Springs were at it again Thursday night, winning a key conference game late in the 2011 regular season despite being down three goals to none in the second half. Thursday's come from behind victory over Asheville marks the fourth time this season that the Runnin' Bulldogs have overcome a second-half deficit to avoid a loss.
The win vaults Gardner-Webb to 4-6-5 overall and 2-3-2 in the Big South. Asheville drops to 5-12 overall and 3-4 in conference play.
It was a tale of two halves Thursday night, as Asheville was able to control the game in the opening period and get open looks at the goal early and often. Asheville scored goals in the 5th and the 15th minutes off goals from Ferriss Roberts and Margo Flewelling respectively. Asheville nearly made it 3-0 in the 21st minute, but a shot by Amanda Knapp was saved on a great defensive effort from freshman defender Addison Abee.
GWU had its opportunities in the early going, but was unable to capitalize with any points. Shots by seniors Dawn Rollyson and Megan Reimer in the 26th minute nearly cut the deficit in half, but both shot attempts went wide.
The Runnin' Bulldogs defense suffered major blows with defenders Shaylyn Poppe and Sarah Morabito having to exit the game due to injury in the game's first 10 minutes. Despite the setbacks, GWU's defense stepped up when it had to and kept Asheville from extending its lead further than 2-0 the rest of the first half.
GWU came out firing in the second half, gaining goal-scoring opportunities that were ultimately denied by Asheville's defense. Megan Curan nearly scored on a header in the 51st minute but it was deterred by Asheville keeper Heather Muller.
Asheville appeared to put the game away for good in the 53rd minute when Frances Staelin took a pass from Leilani Halkiotis off a corner kick and put it past GWU keeper Erika Lenns from 12 yards out to make it a 3-0 lead in favor of the visiting Bulldogs.
GWU's defense, worn out and under-manned, stepped up the rest of the way and denied Asheville from scoring, keeping slim Runnin' Bulldog hopes alive.
Gardner-Webb got a goal back in the 57th minute off an offensive attack from Reimer, who played a cross to Rollyson who then beat Muller straight on to make the score 3-1.
Momentum of the game changed quickly, as Gardner-Webb produced another attack which resulted in an own goal when an Asheville defender was unable to clear a threatening ball, putting GWU down just 3-2.
The Runnin' Bulldogs attack would not relent, as GWU continued to fight for open looks on the offensive end. Their fighting paid off in the 66th minute as a shot off the foot of Megan Reynolds found its way through the Asheville defense to tie the score at 3-3.
Asheville nearly countered at the 71st minute mark when Halkiotis put a shot on frame, but it was saved Lenns to keep the score tied.
Reimer achieved a great look at the goal in the 74th minute, but her shot was saved by Muller and the score remained 3-3.
Michelle Jenkins, a defensive substitution following the injury to Morabito, came up big for the Runnin' Bulldogs Thursday night and nearly provided a potentially game-winning goal in the 85th minute, but her shot attempt from 20 feet out went just wide.
GWU went into the overtime period with all the momentum, and a rowdy sideline and fan base kept the Runnin' Bulldogs believing Thursday night. Those beliefs came to fruition in the final seconds of the game off the foot of Soles.
With one minute remaining in the period, Coach Kevin Mounce turned to the freshman from Pickens, S.C. for a boost on the offensive end. Soles did just that, taking a pass from Curan 20 yards out and finding her way to the middle of the field with nothing but green grass between her and the goal. With 8 seconds left on the clock, Soles fired a shot toward the left side of the goal that narrowly escaped Muller's outstretched hands and found the back of the net to give GWU a 4-3 win.
The memorable goal for Soles is her 2nd of the season and her first game-winner as a Runnin' Bulldog.
With the win, Gardner-Webb moves into the middle of the pack within the Big South Conference, gaining a crucial victory with just three games remaining and a Conference tournament berth within striking distance.
Gardner-Webb looks to ride the momentum into Senior Day this Saturday, as the Runnin' Bulldogs host the Blue Hose of Presbyterian. The match, slated to begin at 4 pm, can be followed by fans via live streaming courtesy of the Big South Conference as well as by live stats at http://www.gwusports.com/liveStats/liveStats.dbml?&SPSID=46223&SPID=4170&DB_OEM_ID=10300. Asheville also returns to action this Saturday, as the Bulldogs travel to face Winthrop in Rock Hill, S.C. at 7 pm.
High Point 1, Radford 0 (OT)
RADFORD, Va. - Sophomore Kelli Joline headed in a cross from sophomore Sammy Vercellino in the 96th minute to give the High Point University women's soccer team a 1-0 overtime win over Radford in Big South action on Thursday night at Radford, Va.
Freshman Alise LeCompte started the play for the Panthers with a free kick from 45 yards away from goal into the box that sophomore Becca Hemby jumped up and flicked on to Vercellino in the left flank. The outside back dribbled in towards the left post before hitting a pass across the face of goal where Joline made a run up the middle and headed in the game winner. The goal was Joline's team-best seventh of the season.
The win improves High Point's record on the season to 6-8-3 overall and 4-1-3 in the Big South. The Panthers improve to 1-1-3 in five overtime games this season. The loss was Radford's first in Big South play this season as the Highlanders fall to 11-4-0 overall and 6-1-0 in the Big South.
Radford had the better of the chances in the first half, outshooting HPU by a 5-2 margin with all five shots on goal. Despite the edge in shots the Highlanders were unable to beat senior keeper Andrea Ritchie who made five saves in the opening 45 minutes.
Neither team was able to gain much of an upper hand following halftime as both teams limited their opponents' chances in the attacking third. The Panthers held a slight 7-5 edge in shots and had three shots on goal in the period.
HPU controlled play in the overtime period with the only two shots in the extra time on a free kick shot by senior Katie Taber and the goal by Joline.
Ritchie finished the game with six saves to record her third-straight shutout and her fifth clean sheet of the season. The senior netminder has a 0.67 goals-against average in Big South play this season with an .839 save percentage.
High Point finished with a slight 11-10 edge in shots while Radford had a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks.
The Panthers next return home for their final home game of the season on Saturday, Oct. 22 when they play host to VMI at 7 p.m. High Point is 6-2-0 all-time against the Keydets. In the two squads' meeting last season, HPU set a team single-game record with seven goals in a 7-0 win in Lexington, Va. Saturday's game will also be High Point's senior day as the Panthers will honor their senior class with a ceremony before the game.
Liberty 2, VMI 1
LYNCHBURG, Va. - Trailing 1-0 against VMI, Thursday night, the Liberty women's soccer team came back in the final seven minutes, netting two late goals to defeat the Keydets at Osborne Stadium, 2-1.
Redshirt sophomore forward Kelly Henion posted the game-winning goal at the 89:05 mark, placing it into the back of the net off a Madison Short assist. The marker was Henion's third of the season. Short's helper was the 11th of her career, placing her third all-time on Liberty's career assists list.
With the come-from-behind victory, Liberty improves to 6-6-3 on the season and 3-3-1 in Big South play. VMI falls to 3-10-2 overall and 0-6-1 in Conference action.
Liberty controlled possession in the first half, outshooting the Keydets, 13-2. The Lady Flames also held a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks during the period.
With neither team able to find the mark in the opening half, VMI displayed solid defense in the final minute, thwarting a trio of Lady Flames attempts. Following a Maddie Boone corner kick, midfielder Casey Norris attempted a header that was blocked by VMI's Christelle Ndongo.
Henion followed up Norris' shot with one of her own, but goalkeeper Amanda Berrios was there to make the save. Short tried one final time for Liberty in the first period, booting a shot that sailed wide over the Keydet net, keeping the contest scoreless.
Liberty continued to control possession in the second period. Despite VMI only taking three shots in the entire period, one of them managed to find the mark in the 76th minute, giving the Keydets the 1-0 edge. After receiving a pass from Ndongo near midfield, VMI leading scorer Sarah Strand dribbled the ball the rest of the way and snuck a shot past Liberty goalkeeper Karen Blocker for her ninth goal of the season.
After shots by Aimee Luurtsema and Boone were corralled by Berrios, Liberty managed to gain the equalizer in the 84th minute. Henion helped on the play, sending a crossing pass to Lauren Stell, who buried the ball into the left corner with a header, tying the contest at 1-1.
Henion, of course, was not done for the night. With 55 ticks on the clock, Short lobbed it to an open Henion, who booted the ball from the right side into the back of the net for the 2-1 final.
Liberty outshot VMI, 29-5, and held a 4-3 edge in corner kicks. The Lady Flames' 29 attempts were their most this season. Berrios played the entire contest in the net for the Keydets, making 10 saves. Blocker occupied the posts for Liberty the full 90 minutes, finishing with three stops.
The Lady Flames return to the field on Saturday for their final game at Osborne Stadium in 2011, playing host to Big South leader Radford. Game time is slated for 7:00pm.
Winthrop 2, Presbyterian College 1
ROCK HILL, S.C. - The Winthrop women's soccer team picked up two second-half goals from Tori Davis and Krystyna Freda within a span of 11 seconds on Thursday evening and held on to defeat the Presbyterian College Blue Hose 2-1 at Eagle Field.
The Eagles improve their record to 9-6 overall and 5-2 in the Big South, while the Blue Hose drop to 3-11-2 on the season and 1-4-2 in conference play.
Winthrop's two second half goals came after it fell behind of Presbyterian College 1-0 in the 67th minute on Sara Simpson's third goal of the season. Gracie Boswell's cross into the middle of the field to Simpson set up the goal as she put her shot in over the head of Eagle goalie Sarah Schippers from 23 yards out.
The goal by Davis, her fourth of the season, came in the 79th minute off a cross from Devin Puckett outside the 18-yard box near side. Davis' goal tied the contest at 1-1. Puckett dribbled past several Blue Hose defenders to the outer part of the 18-yard box and put her cross back into the middle of the box. Davis was there to receive the cross and put her header over the head of Presbyterian College goalkeeper Sarah Beth Anderson. The assist by Puckett was the first of her career.
Winthrop wasted little time netting the game-winner as 11 seconds later Freda put her shot from 16 yards out past Anderson and gave the Eagles the 2-1 advantage. The goal by Freda was her tenth of the season, and makes her the first Winthrop player since Chelsea White in 2006 to record at least 10 goals in a season. Freda is only the third player in program history to tally double-digit goals in a season as Whitney Sanders also achieved the mark in 2003. It was also her team-leading sixth game-winning goal of the season, which also sets a school record.
The Blue Hose outshot the Eagles 16-15 in the match, while Winthrop held an 8-7 advantage in shots on-goal. The Eagles also led in corner kicks 6-3.
Freda finished with a team-high six shots for Winthrop, and Schippers had six saves. Stephanie Allen led the Presbyterian College offense with four shots, while Anderson snagged six saves as well.
The Eagles will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 22 as they host the UNC Asheville Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Saturday is also Senior Night for Winthrop as it will honor Kelsy Weavil, Nichole Smith, Rachel Webster and Courtney Durbin prior to the contest.
Campbell 3, Coastal Carolina 1
BUIES CREEK, N.C. - Kirsty Meyer tallied two goals and one assist to help Campbell defeat Coastal Carolina 3-1 on Thursday night at Eakes Athletic Complex.
Campbell got on the scoreboard just four minutes into the contest, when Cissy Nitz sent a cross into the box. The ball deflected off of Meyer before Line Berntsen sent the ball past Chanticleer keeper Megan Spencer for her second goal of the season.
The Coastal defense tightened up after allowing the early goal, limiting Campbell's good scoring opportunities for the rest of the half. CU outshot Coastal 8-2 in the first half, putting three shots on goal.
Just over seven minutes into the second half, Meyer notched her sixth goal of the season, taking a cross from Pirjo Leppikangas and heading the ball into the net to give the Camels a 2-0 advantage.
The two-goal lead was short-lived for CU, as a Campbell defender was called for a hand ball in the box only forty seconds after Meyer's first goal. Morgan Thomas stepped up and placed a penalty kick perfectly into the left side of the goal to bring CCU within one goal.
Meyer helped seal the game for Campbell in the 83rd minute, corralling a rebound off a Leppikangas shot that deflected off the Coastal keeper's hands, and scoring her second goal of the evening, seventh of the season.
Camel keeper Ryann Torrero finished with two saves on the evening, giving up only the penalty kick goal.
Campbell will return to action Saturday morning at Charleston Southern. First kick is set for 11:00am. Coastal is off until next week, hosting Winthrop on Oct. 27.