Lady Bucs, 3-0-0, off to best conference start in program history
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 2, 2011) – For the second-consecutive match, the ETSU women’s soccer team came back from a goal down, as sophomore Ramey Kerns (Kings Mountain, N.C.) scored in the 87th minute to defeat Belmont, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon at E.S. Rose Park.
“It was a fantastic performance from start to finish,” said head coach Adam Sayers. “The character, maturity, professionalism and discipline that we showed in the second half was absolutely incredible. This second-half performance was one of the best I’ve seen so far this season.”
The Lady Bucs (8-3-0, 3-0-0 A-Sun) are 3-0 in conference play for the first time in the 15-year history of ETSU women’s soccer. The victory is also ETSU’s eighth in its last nine games, as the Lady Bucs now ride a four-game winning streak for the second time this year.
Belmont (6-5-0, 3-1-0) had been undefeated in conference play, but suffered a defeat at the hands of ETSU for the first time since October 5, 2008. The Bruins had won four in a row heading into Sunday, but could not keep the streak going against the resurging second half Lady Bucs.
ETSU outshot Belmont, 18-10, with the help of freshman Jenna Caudle (Middletown, Md.) who took a game-high six shots, with five coming on goal. One of Caudle’s shots found the back of the net six minutes into the second half, for her team-leading seventh goal of the season, to equalize the match before Kerns sent the Lady Bucs ahead with a few minutes remaining.
Caudle and the Lady Bucs threatened first, when the freshman took the game’s opening shot at the 6:04 mark, which was saved by Belmont’s Nicole Berner in goal. Sophomore Lucy Goffe (Birmingham, England) put another chance at goal in the following minute, but watched her shot sail wide.
Senior goalkeeper Caitlin Gaughan (Indianapolis, Ind.) wasn’t tested until the eleventh minute, when Dani Stolt tried her luck. Stolt’s first shot of the game went straight into the hands of the reigning A-Sun Defensive Player of the Week, as Gaughan finished the game with two saves.
It would not be the last time Gaughan met Stolt, as 20 minutes in Stolt was back on the attack and broke Gaughan to put Belmont ahead. The Bruins’ leading shot taker collected a loose ball rebound and drove it by Gaughan for her second goal of the season.
The score remained that way into halftime, but the Lady Bucs pressured Belmont with an 11-4 first half shot advantage. In the locker room, ETSU found itself in an all-too familiar position, needing to overcome a one-goal deficit in order to stay undefeated in conference play.
The spark came via ETSU’s team-leader in goals. On the attack, senior Genna Petersen (Loveland, Ohio) fed a ball to Caudle, and the team’s leading goal scorer put a shot over Berner and into the net as ETSU finally broke through on its 13th shot of the game.
Two more shots and two corners were taken by the Lady Bucs in the four minutes since equalizing, but Belmont’s defense blocked both shot attempts and cleared away both corners to relieve the danger.
With Gaughan holding down another opponent through the second half, Kerns got an opportunity to put the Lady Bucs ahead and did just that. As ETSU worked the ball forward, freshman Taylor Maxson (Lewisville, Texas) found Kerns on the left side of the box and watched as the sophomore blasted a shot back across the body of Berner and into the net.
The goal completed ETSU’s third comeback victory of the season, as the Lady Bucs have now outscored their opponents 15-2 through the second half of play.
“We kept our composure and showed tremendous patience,” added Sayers. “We knew if we continued to play like we did in the first half that we’d get a chance, and when it came we converted very well.”
The streaking Lady Bucs will head back home for a pair of contests next weekend, when they first welcome North Florida to Summers-Taylor Stadium on Friday at 7 p.m.
For more information on ETSU women’s soccer please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s soccer links. Fans can also follow the Lady Bucs on Facebook at ETSU Buccaneer Women’s Soccer.