JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (August 16, 2009) - In its final exhibition match of the season, the ETSU women's soccer team outlasted a tough Winthrop team 1-0 Sunday at Summers-Taylor Stadium in Johnson City.
With the win ETSU's confidence will be high as they start the 2009 regular season next week after defeating the Lady Eagles and King College for a perfect 2-0 record this preseason.
As play opened, both teams battled for possession early in the first half with the two clubs firing a number of shots that went just wide of the goal. As play finished in the opening frame neither squad could find the back of the net as the Bucs and Lady Eagles closed out the first half in a scoreless tie.
As second half play got underway ETSU got its first scoring chance in the 47th minute when junior forward Jessica Huntington's (Newport News, Va.), shot hit the top of the crossbar and then bounced back to junior forward Terri Miller (Cape Coral, Fla.), whose rebound attempt fired just high of the goal.
"We've talked a lot about finishing and playing a complete match and today in a close contest we did a better job of that," said head coach Heather Henson. "We did a better job winning 50-50 balls in the air and really keeping our principles as this match went deep into the second half with no score."
As play continued both teams battled for ball control late into the second half, until junior midfielder Alex Meehan (Knoxville, Tenn.), found the back of the net from 25-yards out to break the scoreless tie in the 85th minute.
"Alex is a player that has come along nicely over the past couple of months" said Henson. "She worked extremely hard this summer at getting better and we thought all spring her shot selection and crosses have been the best we've seen since she's been here at ETSU."
Winthrop would go on to have one more scoring opportunity, but great play from ETSU's backline defenders and sophomore goalkeeper Megan Masch (Virginia Beach, Va.,) closed out the Lady Eagles for the 1-0 win.
"I thought Jen (Altimier) played a lot better today on the defensive side of the ball," said Henson. "Overall, we thought today was going to be a defensive battle and anytime that happens you have to stay patient and play within your system. At times players in a close match can worry about the score and try to force the issue, but today I was proud to see our team stay mature and play within ourselves."
Now that the preseason has ended ETSU returns to practice this week before opening the 2009 campaign at in-state rival Tennessee next Saturday, in Knoxville.
For more information on the ETSU women's soccer team please visit www.ETSUBucs.com. Also you can follow daily post and updates on the official ETSU women's soccer team Twitter page at www.twitter.com/ETSUSoccer.