CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Campbell Camels got an early lead and stuck with it, downing the No. 6 Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs, 3-1, in their first Big South Conference tournament contest in the third game of the 2011 Big South Women's Soccer Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting Thursday at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C. The Camels will play the winner of No. 2 Winthrop vs. No. 7 Charleston Southern Friday night at 7:00pm in the semifinals, appearing the semifinals in their first season as a part of the Big South Conference.
It took less than 10 minutes for the Camels to put one on net and take a 1-0 lead. Annabelle Gibney sent a corner kick over to Taylor Brown, who headed the ball past Amy Schmitt at the 8:20 mark of the first half. Gibney would add one of her own 10 minutes later. Schmitt came out to play the ball, but Gibney quickly jumped over her and slid it into the back of the net to give the Camels a 2-0 lead in the 21st minute of the contest.
The tally would not be Gibney's last of the night, as she added her second goal of the game with 12 seconds remaining in the first half. Gibney beat two Runnin' Bulldog defenders and hit the shot past a diving Schmitt to give the Camels the 3-0 lead.
Gardner-Webb came out strong in the second half, registering eight more shots but couldn't get anything past Campbell's Ryan Torrero. The Runnin' Bulldogs' Megan Reimer was then able to send a pass over to Ele Margelos, who put it on net in the 66th minute of the game to but GWU on the board. However, it was too late for Gardner-Webb as the Camels would come away with the 3-1 victory.
Top individual scorers: Campbell - Annabelle Gibney (two goals, one assist), Taylor Brown (one goal). Gardner-Webb - Ele Margelos (goal).
Team shots on goal: Campbell - 11, Gardner-Webb - 9. Goalkeepers: CU - Ryann Torrero (13-3-2) eight saves. GWU - Amy Schmitt (0-1) three saves, replaced by Erika Lenns at halftime. Lenns - five saves.
Campbell improves to 14-4-2 on the year, while Gardner-Webb ends its season at 6-8-5. Campbell will be making its first appearance in the Big South Tournament semifinals.
Campbell Head Coach Todd Clark
"I felt like this tournament is super tight, so for us to win, relatively easily, against a talented team like Gardner-Webb is great. I thought we played excellent up front, scoring three goals and having a few more opportunities that their keeper and defenders made great plays on. For our first game back in the Big South tournament in 13 years, I was very pleased with our defensive pressure. Now we have to go out and do it all over again tomorrow night against either Winthrop or Charleston Southern."
Gardner-Webb Head Coach Kevin Mounce
"The first half was not the way you want to come out in a conference tournament. But we fought back and gave a great effort in the second half just like we have all season."