Runnin' Bulldogs Use Three Second-Half Goals to Knock Off USC Upstate on the Road Tuesday Night
Spartanburg, S.C. - Freshmen Shelby Hooe and Nichole Poppe each scored second half goals for Gardner-Webb, helping the Runnin' Bulldogs pull away for a 3-0 road win over USC Upstate for its first win on the soccer pitch during the 2012 season.
Hooe (Mechanicsville, Va.) broke through with a goal in the 69th minute for the Runnin' Bulldogs, taking an assist from fellow freshman Tara Woelfel (Thurmont, Md.) to beat Upstate keeper Sarah Plantz and put Gardner-Webb up 1-0. The goal, Hooe's first in her collegiate career, also proved to be the first game winner of her career.
Another freshmen tandem helped account for the crucial insurance goal. Nichole Poppe (Youngsville, N.C.) scored the second GWU goal of the night, finding the back of the net after a well-placed assist by fellow freshman Ashley Carmean (Ashburn, Va.).
Hooe tacked on her second goal of the night in the 89th minute, taking the assist from another freshman in Edinburg, Texas native Samantha Gutierrez to push the score to the final 3-0 margin.
The Gardner-Webb offensive attack broke out of its offensive drought in resounding fashion Tuesday night, taking a season high 19 shots for the match along with scoring its first, second, and third goals of the season.
GWU (1-4) also got stellar play from keeper Amy Schmitt (Waxhaw, N.C.) in the early going, as the sophomore recorded two saves in the first 15 minutes of action to keep the host Spartans off the board. Schmitt's second save rejected an Upstate shot by Rebecca Sanzsole in the 13th minute.
Gardner-Webb's offensive attack produced three shots in just over a minute span to pressure the Spartans early. Redshirt junior Karyn Latorre (Bogota, Colombia) had a shot blocked in the 15th minute, and sophomore Megan Curan (Mooresville, N.C.) fired off a shot in the same minute, but it sailed wide right.
Defense ruled for the majority of the first half, as the Runnin' Bulldogs were able to limit the Spartans to five shots in the opening period of play. The Gardner-Webb backline, led by sophomore Addison Abee (Charlotte, N.C.) kept the Spartans from gaining quality looks within the Runnin' Bulldogs' defensive zone. Schmitt did the rest, tallying three saves in the first half.
Hooe went to work early, getting in range to take shots in the 33rd and 35th minutes respectively, with both sailing wide. Sophomore defender Whitney Emerson (Olive Branch, Miss.) also got a shot off late in the opening period, as did Woelfel, but both went off frame and the match went into the break scoreless.
Gardner-Webb continued to put pressure on the Spartan defense early in the second half. Sophomore Brooke Kelly (Lawrenceville, Ga.) found open space inside Upstate's backline and put a shot up that flew wide right as the Runnin' Bulldogs continued to test the Spartan defense.
Schmitt continued to pitch a shutout with solid play in goal for the Runnin' Bulldogs as the second progressed. The Waxhaw, N.C. native earned a save on a Katrina Savoy shot attempt in the 50th minute to keep USC Upstate off the board.
Hooe and Woelfel teamed up to put GWU on the board in the 69th minute, as Woelfel sent a cross into the box for Hooe, who settled and struck the ball home inside the left post.
Gardner-Webb's offense did not let up, getting a shot from Curan in the 73rd minute that went high before Nichole Poppe scored her first goal as a Runnin' Bulldog in the 74th minute after taking the assist from Carmean.
The Runnin' Bulldog defense held the rest of the way, as the backline of Abee, Emerson, Tori James (Fayatteville, Ga.), Shaylyn Poppe (Youngsville, N.C.), and Ele Margelos (North Potomac, Md.) held strong in the second half.
Hooe's second goal of the night came in the 89th minute, receiving the assist from Gutierrez to provide the final 3-0 margin.
Schmitt (1-4) took the win for the Runnin' Bulldogs, posting six saves in the contest.
Gardner-Webb will return to action this weekend for two matches as a part of the Western Carolina Invitational. GWU plays the host Catamounts on Friday, September 14 at 7:30 p.m. and takes on Louisiana-Lafayette Sunday, September 16 at 12:00 p.m.