Kerns scores twice, Davis adds a third in win
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 21, 2012) – The ETSU women’s soccer team took an early lead and never looked back, opening Atlantic Sun Conference play in the win column, 3-1, over Stetson on Friday night at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
Junior Ramey Kerns (Kings Mountain, N.C.) put together her third multi-goal game of the season, netting her first score in the sixth minute and driving in her conference-leading 11th goal midway through the second half. Sophomore Kristi Davis (Edmond, Okla.) gave ETSU (7-2-0, 1-0-0 A-Sun) extra insurance, knocking in her second score of the year with 10 minutes to play. Stetson (2-7-0, 0-1-0 A-Sun) scored late, but did not affect the final result as the Lady Bucs began their title defense with three points.
With 11 goals, Kerns trails Erin Ashton by just one for the ETSU single-season record. Aston scored 12 during her 2002 freshman season.
“I’m absolutely thrilled with the result and the performance today,” said ETSU head coach Adam Sayers, who has led the Lady Bucs to a combined 8-1-1 A-Sun record in his second season at the helm. “It was very important to start the game strongly, and we did just that when we got the early goal. We got a couple more goals in the second half that put us in a great position, and we were able to see the game out from there.”
The Lady Buccaneers had a powerful start and scored on just their second shot of the game to put the Hatters in an early hole. ETSU took that lead into the break, outshooting Stetson 7-5 through the first 45 minutes, and controlled the attack even more in the second half with two goals and a 9-4 advantage in shots. For the game, ETSU won the shot count 16-9, taking five corners to Stetson’s two.
The win also makes ETSU 5-0 in its last five conference openers, where the Lady Bucs hold the longest winning streak among all A-Sun schools. ETSU also increased its lead in the all-time series with Stetson to 7-2-0, having won the last three with Friday night’s victory.
Kerns and the Lady Bucs wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. Two minutes after Hannah Short (Bristol, England) took the game’s first shot with a header that went wide, ETSU took its second opportunity to score its earliest goal of the season. Sophomore midfielder Emilee Engelhaupt (Charlotte, N.C.) was the catalyst, as she beat a Stetson defender to a 50-50 ball at the top of the penalty area, and found senior Morgan Thomas (Maryville, Tenn.) along the left sideline. Thomas slung in a perfectly placed cross that skipped in front of a few Hatter defenders before finding Kerns inside the 6-yard box for the game’s first score.
The Lady Bucs had plenty more opportunities to build their lead through the rest of the half, but were unlucky on a few attempts to remain one goal ahead. Freshman goalkeeper Kara Krajenta (Cordova, Tenn.) made sure ETSU held its lead, making two saves in the half as the Lady Bucs entered the break ahead, 1-0.
Midway through the second half, ETSU threatened once more when Samantha Kron (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) lined up her fourth corner of the game. Kerns was on the receiving end, heading the cross toward goal from the near side and sending her shot off the post. The rebound found Short, who put on her second attempt of the match, but missed wide.
Kerns was not denied her second score, as less than a minute after hitting the post she was sprung free off an excellent overhead pass from Short. Kerns caught up to the ball along the right side, and fired a shot that Victoria Troccoli saved but could not hold onto. Still running toward goal, Kerns beat Troccoli to the rebound and hit the back of an open net on what proved to be the game-winning goal.
Davis came on for Kerns in the 77th minute, and battered the Stetson defense even more with a goal three minutes after entering. Freshman midfielder Megan Wynne (St. Albans, England) sent a low through ball up the middle of the field, leaving Davis one-on-one with Troccoli. Davis chipped the oncoming keeper, sending a shot over her head and into the left side of goal to eliminate any doubt of the final result.
Jenna Premo added a late goal for the Hatters, but it was all for naught as ETSU began the A-Sun schedule with three points on its seventh win of the season.
ETSU continues its weekend slate on Sunday in a showdown with last season’s A-Sun Tournament champion, Florida Gulf Coast, at 1 p.m.
- Kerns’ two goals give her 11 this year, just one shy of the ETSU record for most goals in a season currently held by Erin Ashton who scored 12 in 2002.
- The Lady Bucs have won their last five A-Sun openers, the longest such winning streak in the conference.
- ETSU has won its last three games against Stetson, outscoring the Hatters 11-5 in those contests.
- Davis’ goal was her second of the season. The sophomore also scored in the, 2-0, season-opening win at Tennessee Tech.
- Engelhaupt and Wynne each earned their first assists of the season, while Thomas locked in her second.
- Kerns' goal at 5:18 was ETSU's earliest in a game since Sept. 2 of last year when the Lady Bucs scored at the 2:14 mark against Longwood.
For more information on ETSU women’s soccer, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s soccer links.