Longwood, Liberty, Radford & Campbell Win Season Openers

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Conway's Golden Goal Gives Radford Season-Opening Win, 1-0
RADFORD, Va. - Junior Rachel Conway (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada/Forest Heights Collegiate) scored 24 seconds into the second overtime to give Radford a 1-0 win over Howard in the Highlanders' season-opener Friday evening from Cupp Memorial Stadium.

Conway, who paced Radford (1-0) with a game-high five shots, lofted a shot from 25 yards out that easily cleared the outstretched arms of Bison (0-1) keeper Kyra Dickinson. Classmate Sahar Aflaki (Gainsville, Va./Battlefield) assisted on the golden goal.

Dickinson made several big saves throughout the match and finished with eight to keep the Bison within striking distance.

Radford's Che' Brown (Manassas Park, Va./Manassas Park) stopped two long attempts by the Bison in the second stanza for her only saves of the contest. It was her 15th collegiate clean sheet, moving into third all-time in the program's annals.

The Highlanders and Bison played a little over a 100 minutes of scoreless soccer before Conway's strike.

In the first half, Radford had the best chance get on the board, but a late one-timer by Torii Johnson (Woodbridge, Va./Hylton) was stopped on a great reaction save by Dickinson.
 
The Highlanders started to put some pressure on Howard in the second half and after numerous runs and near misses, freshman Asyia Mitchell (Cary, N.C./Panther Creek) drew a foul in the box in the 65th minute. However, Dickinson came up big again when she stopped Conway's penalty kick, as well as Conway's rebound seconds later.

Dickinson continued to keep Howard in the game in the second half with three of her six saves after Conway's back-to-back chances. She tipped a breakaway chance by sophomore Kara Nay (Montclair, Va./Forest Park) just wide with just over 10 minutes left.

Radford hits the road on Sunday, Aug. 19 when it travels to Charlottesville, Va. for a 2:00 p.m. contest against Virginia.

Campbell Beats East Carolina 2-1 on Clark's Golden Goal
The regular season opening game for the Campbell women's soccer team was highlighted by a 90-minute weather delay and a golden goal in overtime, as the Camels beat East Carolina 2-1 Friday.
 
The Fighting Camels were tested early as East Carolina midfielder Rachel Wechsler broke away in Campbell's penalty box for a one-on-one with Campbell goalkeeper Ryann Torrero. The senior had a swift reaction from her line for her first save of the year.
 
Six minutes later, Campbell sophomore Alexis Prada was fouled 25 yards from the Pirates'goal. Senior Taylor Brown netted the free kick in the upper right corner over ECU keeper Christiane Cordero.
 
The Camels' next best scoring opportunity of the half came in the 19th minute. Sophomore Ashley Clark had an open look on the edge of the Pirates' penalty box with no ECU defenders in front of her, but her shot went just wide of the goal.
 
ECU had one more scoring opportunity before halftime. In the 25th minute, ECU defender Rachel Fuller slid a pass behind the Camel defense to forward Chrissy Gratz, who sailed the ball over the goalpost.
 
The teams left the field for halftime with the score at 1-0 in favor of Campbell.
 
ECU had the first scoring opportunity of the second half in the 50th minute by Fuller. Her shot went to the upper right corner of Campbell's goal, but Torrero stretched to get the save.
 
The game was suspended with 31:51 left in the game due to lightning. After a delay of an hour and 40 minutes, play resumed at 9:55 p.m.
 
Eight minutes after the game restarted, ECU grabbed their first goal of the match. Fuller crossed the ball from the right side outside the penalty area to teammate Lexi Miller who put it in the back of the net.
 
The two sides continued to battle back and forth until ECU created three scoring opportunities. In the 76th minute, Pirate Kendall Frey took a shot from the edge of the penalty box, but Torrero contained it with a diving save.
 
Less than a minute and a half later, Torrero made game-saving back-to-back stops.  The senior deflected a shot from Gratz before Kelsie Halsenrud sent a shot towards the upper net. Torrero jumped to push the ball over the crossbar, denying ECU the last threat they had in the half.
 
Regulation ended tied at 1-1, and the teams went into overtime, battling to score the golden goal. In the fourth minute of extra time, Prada passed the ball to senior Kirsty Meyer to the right of ECU's penalty box. Meyer crossed the ball to Clark, who was waiting in the middle of the box. She took a shot on her first touch and sent it past Cordero, clinching the first win of the season for the Camels.
 
The Camels will have a week to prepare to take on Francis Marion Friday, Aug. 24 at 7:00 at Eakes Athletic Complex.

Lady Flames Open Season with 1-0 Win at Davidson
The Liberty women's soccer team opened the season with a win, defeating Davidson at Alumni Stadium, 1-0, Friday night. Freshman Crystal Elmers posted the lone goal for Liberty in 38th minute of the opening half, courtesy of a Lauren Stell assist.

With the victory, Liberty wins its season opener win for the first time in nearly six years. The last time the Lady Flames began the year with a mark in the win column occurred on Aug. 25, 2006, as Liberty bested Longwood, 3-0.

The Davidson offense applied the pressure first, firing off two shots in the opening 18 minutes. After a blast sailed high over the Liberty net in the 12th minute, Wildcats forward Julie Singley attempted a shot five minutes later from the right side of the 18-yard box, but Lady Flames goalkeeper Karen Blocker was there to corral the threat.

Liberty began getting looks at the net in the ensuing 13 minutes, thanks to shots from Megan Warner, Brittany Aanderud and Elmers. Davidson goalkeeper Rachel Locke thwarted all three attempts to keep the contest at a stalemate.

The fourth time was a charm for the Lady Flames. With Stell on the left side of the box, the senior sent a crossing pass to Elmers, who leaped into the air and flicked the ball in the upper right corner for her first career goal.

A minute after the marker, Elmers had an open shot at goal with Locke being out of position, but fortunately for the Wildcats, a defender was there to deflect the shot and prevent it from entering the net. The team save kept the score at 1-0 in favor of the Lady Flames heading into halftime.

In the opening six minutes of the second half, Elmers tried to pick up where she left off, booting a shot at the Davidson net. The Fenwick, Ontario native's attempt was just a tad high, ricocheting off the cross bar to keep the score the same.

The Wildcats tried on several occasion to even the score, but solid goalkeeping from Blocker kept the home team at bay. Singley took the final attempt for Davidson in the 84th minute, however, the senior goalkeeper stopped the shot en route to the 1-0 final.

Liberty outshot the Wildcats in the contest, 9-7, while Davidson held a 1-0 advantage in corner kicks. Blocker played the entire 90 minutes of the contest in the net, finishing with four saves to notch her 12th career shutout.

Locke played between the pipes for Davidson during the entire opening half, making three saves and allowing the lone goal. Ranae Carins relieved Locke, protecting the net in the second half.

The Lady Flames make their Osborne Stadium debut this Sunday against Drexel. Game time is slated for 2 p.m.

Longwood Wins 2012 Season-Opener Over Drexel, 2-0
FARMVILLE, Va. -- Longwood University opened its 2012 women's soccer season with a 2-0 shutout victory past visiting Drexel University of the Colonial Athletic Association Friday night at the Athletics Complex in Farmville.  The Lancers (1-0) received second-half goals from sophomore Samantha Phillips|Chesapeake (Grassfield) in the 61st minute, assisted by junior Kelsey Pardue|Henrico (Hermitage), and sophomore Kylie Dyer|Farmville (Prince Edward County) scored unassisted in the 77th minute.  Senior keeper Kyra Byron|Richmond (Mills. E. Godwin) earned the shutout with two saves.  Longwood will host VCU of the Atlantic 10 Conference for The GAME 3.0 (Greatest Athletics March Ever) on Sunday night, August 19, at the Athletics Complex in Farmville beginning at 7 p.m.
   
Longwood and Drexel waited one hour and 50 minutes past the scheduled start time of 7 p.m. due to lightening in the area before finally kicking-off at 8:50 p.m.  The Lancers had back-to-back shots on goal in the ninth minute but both were turned away by Dragons' keeper Eve Badana, and the visitors had an opportunity in the 13th minute that hit the crossbar, before the two squads battled scoreless through the opening 45 minutes.
   
Longwood took the 1-0 advantage when Phillips received a nice pass in the box from Pardue and blasted a shot to the upper left corner of the net at 60:42 for her first career goal.  Dyer secured the outcome at 76:50 when she collected a loose ball in the box following a corner kick opportunity and fired low and hard into the net on the right side for her first career goal as well.  Byron turned away the final scoring attempt by the visitors in the 78th minute.
   
Longwood took a 10-5 advantage in shots, including 5-2 in attempts on goal, and the Lancers had a 4-2 edge in corner kicks.  Pardue had three shots, and Phillips added two shots, while Byron played the duration in front of the net for Longwood en route to posting her eighth career shutout.
   
Alex Vazquez had three shots to lead Drexel, while Badana played the duration for the Dragons with three saves.
   
Longwood and Drexel were playing for the first time in the sport of women's soccer.

High Point Battles VCU to 1-1 Tie in Season Opener
The High Point University women's soccer team opened the 2012 season with a 1-1 tie on the road at VCU on Friday night in Richmond, Va. Junior Becca Hemby scored the lone goal for HPU while junior Jesse May made a career-high 13 saves.
 
May finished the game one save shy of the HPU Div. I single-game record set by Marisa Abbott in the NCAA tournament against UNC in 2009. May made three crucial saves in extra time to keep the score deadlocked. Early in the first period of extra time May parried a shot from distance just over the crossbar. May also stopped two shots by the Rams in one-on-one situations, denying VCU's Courtney Conrad in the 100th minute and Breiana White in the 110th minute.
 
Hemby scored the first goal of the 2012 season in the 34th minute to put the Panthers up, 1-0. Junior Taylor Parker corralled a ball cleared out of the box on an HPU corner and fed Hemby with a through ball into the box. Hemby hit the ball into the lower left corner of the goal with her first touch to give High Point the lead.
 
The Rams came back to tie the game in the 58th minute when Maren Johansen scored with a shot from 18-yards out. The VCU forward got behind the outside back and ran onto a ball over the backline. Johansen dribbled across the top of the box and hit a hard shot to the top left corner. May dove and got her hand on the ball, but could not keep it out of the back of the net.
 
Following the goal by VCU, High Point controlled the majority of possession and pushed forward looking for the game winner. Sophomore Jacky Kessler was able to use her speed late in the game to consistently get behind the Ram's backline and serve dangerous balls into the box. Junior Kelli Joline appeared to find a goal with a chip shot over the keeper in the 69th minute but the midfielder was called just offsides.
 
Midway thorugh the first overtime period the Panthers once again appeared to win the game on a goal by senior Danielle Schepler but it was once again called back for offsides. The VCU keeper missed a punch on a cross into the box and Schepler hit the loose ball into the net. The celebration was cut short as the linesman on the far side had raised his flag.
 
High Point will return to action on Sunday, Aug. 19, when the Panthers travel to Auburn Ala., to take on the Tigers of Auburn University. The game is scheduled to kick-off at 3 p.m. ET.

Gardner-Webb Women's Soccer Drops its Season Opener 1-0 at Wofford Friday Night
Spartanburg, S.C. - The Runnin' Bulldogs fought in a nail biter against the host Wofford Terriers, but surrendered a late second half goal and fell in its season opener by a score of 1-0.
 
The match was scoreless entering the 84th minute when one of several threatening runs by the Wofford offense found the back of the net to provide the final margin.
 
Defense ruled in the first half of the matchup between the Runnin' Bulldogs and the Terriers, as neither squad could get on the board in the first 45 minutes of action. GWU's sophomore goalkeeper Amy Schmitt (Waxhaw, N.C.) and the rest of the Runnin' Bulldogs' defense kept the score knotted at 0-0. Schmitt recorded seven saves in the first half of her second career start.
 
Wofford was able to control possession of the ball for the majority of the first half and outshot Gardner-Webb 16-2 during the opening half. Despite the disparity, GWU still had an excellent scoring opportunity in the first half of play.

Freshman Brooke Kelly (Lawrenceville, Ga.) put a corner kick in front of the goal, then hustled in to the midst of the action. When the ball rebounded her way, Kelly put a good strike on goal, but it was deflected by a well-placed Wofford defender.
 
Gardner-Webb's defense bent, but did not break in the first half, battling to keep it a scoreless tie at halftime.
 
GWU responded after halftime with great energy, earning the edge in time of possession in the first 10 minutes after the break.

A great defensive effort by junior Megan Loftin (Kings Mountain, N.C.) in the 55th minute kept the Terriers off the board. After a Wofford corner was played into the box, a Terrier shot was placed on goal outside of the keeper Schmitt's reach. Loftin was in the right place at the right time, heading the ball away to keep the match scoreless.

GWU continued to battle through offensively, and was rewarded for its efforts with a free kick in the 60th minute after a great run by sophomore Megan Curan (Mooresville, N.C.) resulted in a Wofford penalty deep in the Terrier's zone. Freshman Nichole Poppe (Youngsville, N.C.) took the free kick, and her shot attempt went just wide to the right side.
 
The Gardner-Webb defensive back line kept the Terrier attack at bay in the second half after weathering Wofford's 16 shot offensive effort in the opening half of play. Sophomore Addison Abee's (Charlotte, N.C.) efforts at center back, alongside outside backs Ele Margelos (North Potomac, Md.), Kelly, and Whitley Bowman (Damascus, Ga.) held strong in the second half of play in keeping the Terriers off the board as the second half wore on.
 
The Runnin' Buldogs continued to push on the offensive end, working for opportunities to pressure the Wofford defense. GWU earned a corner in the 71st minute, but freshman Shelby Hooe's (Mechanicsville, Va.) attempt was kicked away from the goal a Wofford defender.
 
The deciding goal came in the 84th minute when Wofford's Maureen Buff scored on a strike from the left side just over Schmitt's outstretched hands.
 
Gardner-Webb refused to let up, and earned a free kick in Wofford territory in the final minute of play. A threatening ball played by Kelly was placed in front of the Terriers' goal, but a header attempted by a hustling Bowman went wide left.

For the game, Wofford earned a 23-5 shot advantage over Gardner-Webb.
 
The Runnin' Bulldogs are back in action on Tuesday, August 21 when GWU hosts South Carolina State for its 2012 home opener. Gardner-Webb's first home match of the season is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start time.

Goal in Second Overtime Gives USC Upstate Win Over Keydets, 1-0
LEXINGTON, Va. - After 106 minutes of scoreless action, Tamaya Tompoe of the USC Upstate Spartans notched the game-winning goal on a deflection in the second overtime, giving her team a 1-0 win over the VMI Keydets Friday evening at VMI's Patchin Field. The matchup was the regular season opener for both schools.

Upstate (1-0) had controlled the pace for the majority of the second extra frame, and after a Katrina Savoy shot was blocked at the top of the box, the Spartans were able to settle the ball to the right of VMI (0-1) goalkeeper Mackenzie Harrmann. Michelle Calmeyn found Tompoe with a pass, placed into the middle of the field, and Tompoe got a twisting shot off from 12 yards out. The attempt was deflected by a VMI defender, changing its arc toward Harrmann and causing it to come in considerably higher. The freshman keeper backpedaled and leapt, but was only able to tip the ball as it went into the back of the net for the game-winner.

The game was played under gray, overcast skies, after a slight drizzle had fallen during pregame, and the teams took time to find their footing. The first serious threat came at the 11:32 mark, when the Spartans played a corner kick into the middle of the box. Calmeyn went to the air for a header, but Harrmann left her feet for a leaping save, keeping the game scoreless.

VMI would counter with the next two shots on goal, attempts in the 13th and 23rd minutes, but Upstate keeper Sarah Plantz was able to stop both attempts. From there, the squads settled into a great deal of midfield play, as there were only three shots taken the remainder of the half. Harrmann stopped the lone try on goal, as the visitors put a try on net in the 43rd minute, to no avail.

At halftime, Upstate had a 6-3 edge in shots, while both teams had put two shots on net. Only Calmeyn's header required extraordinary effort on the part of either keeper, as the game had been a defensive struggle early.

The Keydets came out quickly in the second half, as on their first possession, Christelle Ndongo made a deep run at the visitors' defense. She then played a cross to Allie Segura, who attempted a leaning shot from well into the box, but hit it just wide. Ndongo came right back in the 54th minute, nearly scoring on a strong individual effort, but a sprawling save by Plantz kept the Keydets off the scoreboard. The 58th minute saw yet another Keydet try, as a Liz Affronti corner found the head of Nicole Blixt, but the header arched over the goal.

From there, the contest went back into a defensive battle. The Keydets had just two shots the remainder of the half, while, despite posting nine overall shots in the period, the Spartans put just one on frame, a 65th minute try by Savoy that was turned away by Harrmann. Two particular corner kicks did give the visitors chances, but one resulted in a header that was wide, while the other resulted in an offside violation. After Affronti tried a shot from distance in the 88th minute, the contest was headed for overtime.

In the first extra period, Tompoe nearly ended the contest in the 96th minute. A shot from six yards out, going from Harrmann's left to right, was stopped on a diving save by the Keydet netminder, keeping the match scoreless. The Keydets put one shot on net, a 98th minute try by Taylor Armstrong, but Plantz scooped up the effort to help ensure a second overtime.

That period opened with an attack by Upstate, but the resultant efforts were waved off to do an offside violation. The teams traded wide shots over the next three minutes, with VMI's coming from Allie Segura in the 105th minute. That would be the final Keydet shot of the day, as under two minutes later, Savoy had her shot blocked to set up the eventual game-winner.

Harrmann was solid in net in her collegiate debut, making four saves in the setback, while Plantz had five stops in the Upstate win. Despite a 20-12 edge in shots, the Spartans and Keydets both had five tries on goal. 

VMI women's soccer will return to action next Friday, August 24, as the Keydets play host to Elon at Patchin Field. Game time is set for 5 p.m.

UNC Asheville Women's Soccer Falls 2-1 at EKU
RICHMOND, Ky. - The UNC Asheville women's soccer team fell at Eastern Kentucky, 2-1 to open the 2012 season Friday evening.

The Bulldogs (0-1-0) showed major improvement from last season as EKU won last season at Greenwood Field, 4-0.

Asheville picked up a goal from sophomore Kaitlyn Eckert midway through the first half to knot the game at 1-1. Freshman midfielder Shenny Lenhart earned her first career point with an assist on the play.

Eckert hit a shot from 10 yards out after taking a feed from Lenhart.

The Bulldogs controlled played for much of the first half as they out-shot the Colonels (1-0-0) 11-9. Asheville had a 10-4 advantage at one point in the opening half.

EKU opened the scoring early in the game as Nicki Donnely scored in the ninth minute.

The Colonels picked up the game-winner late in the first half. On a corner kick, Lauren Fant headed in a ball from Emily D'Italia in the 40th minute to give EKU the lead for good at 2-1.

Each team finished with 14 shots apiece. Eckert had four shots, while Lenhart finished with three. Sophomore goalkeeper Heather Muller made five saves for the Bulldogs.

Asheville has its home opener on Sunday when the Bulldogs host East Tennessee State at Greenwood Field starting at 1 p.m. Admission is free.

Coastal Carolina Women's Soccer Drops Season Opener
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Coastal Carolina women's soccer team fell to Kentucky 2-0 in its season opener Friday night.
 
The host Wildcats tallied single goals in each half, getting on the board in the 11th minute and scoring again in the 61st on a rebound off of the crossbar.
 
Junior goalkeeper Megan Spencer helped keep the Chanticleers close, making seven saves. Sophomore forward Kacey Kelley recorded Coastal's lone shot midway through the first half.
 
Freshmen Megan Wagner, Fia Jonsson, Camille Christie and Olivia Fear made their Chants' debuts, along with senior Anna Lowe, who missed last season with an injury, and sophomore transfer Meagan Borger.
 
Coastal will host Francis Marion for its home opener Sunday at 7 p.m.

Lightning Delay Postpones CSU-Citadel Soccer Match
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The season opening women's soccer match between the Charleston Southern Buccaneers and The Citadel Bulldogs was called early in the second half as the teams were unable to reach the 70 minute mark needed to count the game as a completed match.

Charleston Southern and The Citadel will start the match over with a clean slate on Monday, September 17th at the CSU Soccer Field, with kickoff between the two teams set for 3 p.m.

CSU now turns their attention to USC Upstate as the Buccaneers travel to Spartanburg, S.C. on Monday, August 20th to take on the Spartans. Kickoff between the teams is set for 6 p.m.