Lady Bucs to host Jacksonville Saturday in A-Sun quarterfinals
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Oct. 21, 2012) – The ETSU women’s soccer team needed a win Sunday afternoon against North Florida to host a quarterfinal in the 2012 Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship.
For the Lady Buccaneers, that was enough motivation to score five goals and defeat the Ospreys on their home field in the regular season finale, 5-1. Junior Ramey Kerns (Kings Mountain, N.C.) played a big role in the win, scoring four times to move her record-setting season total to 20 and tying the program record for most goals in a game – Erin Ashton netted four against South Carolina State on Oct. 11, 2002.
“The team was really able to connect passes,” said Kerns, who is tied for seventh in the A-Sun record books for goals in a season. “The girls were able to slip some passes through the center backs and find me open.”
Kerns buried her first of the day just 2:27 into the game, and put ETSU (12-5-0, 6-3-0 A-Sun) up by two in the seventh minute. Senior Morgan Thomas (Maryville, Tenn.) found the back of the net nine minutes later on an assist from Kerns, before the conference’s leading goal scorer added her third goal of the game in the 34th minute. Just over a minute after the start of the second half, Kerns put ETSU up 5-0 with her fourth of the day.
“North Florida is a very strong team, so we knew it was important for us to start the game strongly and impose ourselves,” said ETSU head coach Adam Sayers, who has coached the Lady Bucs to 12 wins in each of his two seasons at the helm. “We certainly did that. We kept possession well from the very first whistle and scored some early goals to get some breathing space.”
Ending the season with 18 points in league play, ETSU earns the No. 4 seed and will host No. 5 Jacksonville at Summers-Taylor Stadium in the A-Sun quarterfinals on Saturday. ETSU’s 12 wins tie for the most in program history. Last year, the Lady Bucs went 12-5-1 and in 2003 finished 12-6-0.
North Florida (7-9-2, 5-3-1 A-Sun) winds up as the No. 6 seed and travels to No. 3 Kennesaw State.
The first of the early goals was created by freshman Sarah Zadrazil (St. Gilgen, Austria). The conference’s leader in assists took the ball down the right side of the box and sent a pass directly to Kerns, who cleaned up from about eight yards to give ETSU the quick lead. The assist was the 10th of the season for Zadrazil, tying her with Katie Green’s ETSU single-season record from 2007.
“Sarah was brilliant today,” Sayers said. “She played in the hole very well and the pass she gave Ramey on the first goal was sublime.”
Four minutes later, Kerns slipped by the UNF back line and caught up to a great overhead cross from freshman defender Hannah Short (Bristol, England). The opportunity left Kerns alone with keeper Rachel Beninati and the junior made the most of the chance by scoring her second of the game after dribbling by Beninati and placing the ball into an open net.
The post saved Beninati from surrendering a third to Kerns in the 10th minute. UNF then saw its best chance to score in the first half go by the wayside. The Ospreys put five attempts at freshman keeper Sierra Campbell (Thompson’s Station, Tenn.) in a span of three minutes, but Campbell made a save and got a friendly roll of the post to hold North Florida off the board.
"The back four were excellent throughout," said Sayers on his defenders. "They were very organized, disciplined and positioned excellently. Our deep-lying midfield players also played very well. They were excellent in possession, linked play well and worked hard to close down the opposition in the central areas and break up attacks."
Thomas finished the game’s next opportunity and ended Benanati's day. Kerns won a ball deflected through the box and found Thomas on the left side who scored her third of the year to put the Lady Buccaneers ahead by three.
The hat trick came 16 minutes before halftime. Freshman Megan Wynne (St. Albans, England) got free on the right side and sent a pass inside the area to Kerns. Already with two goals and an assist in the game, Kerns spun and put her first goal past the new keeper, Brittany Hahn. The first-half hat trick makes Kerns just the second in program history to score three goals in a half. Current ETSU junior Molly Vaughn (Nashville, Tenn.) scored three in the second half last year against Alabama A&M.
At the break, the Lady Bucs’ lead was 4-0. North Florida had taken two more shots in the half, but ETSU had scored on four of its 10 attempts.
A minute into the second half, the lead increased to five. Wynne sent a cross in from the right, Thomas sent it back through the area and Kerns headed in the Lady Bucs’ fifth goal from the edge of the six-yard box.
“Meg is a very hard worker and dangerous when she runs at the opposition with the ball," Sayers said. "She created good chances for Ramey. Morgan Thomas did on the other side as well. Our front four were absolutely brilliant today.”
UNF put in a late goal, but ETSU’s five-goal cushion was far too much for the Ospreys to overcome in the final minutes.
“I thought the entire team gave a very professional performance,” added Sayers. “We created chances, took our chances, defended well, kept possession well and kept our intensity up through the second half."
The time for Saturday’s game has yet to be determined. What ETSU does know, is it gets the Dolphins in Johnson City, looking to exact some revenge from Friday’s result.
“Jacksonville is a very good team,” Sayers said. “It was a good game on Friday, but we’re certainly glad we get to play them at our place now.”
- ETSU finished the regular season with 12 wins, tying the program mark for the most in a season. Last year, the Lady Bucs went 12-5-1, and in 2003, they went 12-6-0.
- Ramey Kerns scored four goals, tying her with Erin Ashton for the most in a single game. The hat trick is the second of the year for Kerns, making her the first Lady Buc with two in one season.
- Kerns’ season goal total increased to 20, tying her for seventh all-time in the A-Sun season record books. She has 29 goals her in three-year career.
- Sarah Zadrazil tallied her 10th assist, tying her with the ETSU single-season record set by Katie Green in 2007.
- Morgan Thomas scored her third goal and tallied her fourth assist of the season. She has seven goals and 10 assists in her career.
- Megan Wynne posted two assists in the game, and has three on the season.
- Hannah Short registered the first point of her ETSU career, assisting Kerns’ second goal.
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