JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (October 24, 2003) - Kerri Burke's (Raleigh, N.C.) goal in the second half of the match secured the win over the Phoenix as well as a spot in the playoffs for the Buccaneer women's soccer team. East Tennessee State (11-3-0 overall, 6-2-0 SoCon) defeated Elon (3-13-0, 2-7-0), 3-1 in Friday night's contest at Liberty Bell Field.
"It was a battle of wills," stated head coach Heather Henson. "The Elon team and coach Paul Webster are new to the Southern Conference and want to prove themselves early on."
Elon got on the board with an own goal scored off of a corner kick at 19:49. The Phoenix goal would be the only goal of the first half.
At 58:58, senior Andrea Brown (High Point, N.C.) had a direct kick opportunity. She shot the ball into the mix in front of the goal where junior Jennifer Fields (Mount Airy, Md.) netted it to tie up the game at one a-piece.
"Jennifer made a great statement tonight," commented Henson. "It was great to see her step up her play and leadership on the field to send a special thank you to the seniors."
Burke's game-winning goal came at 80:45 of the second half. Erin Ashton (New Bern, N.C.) assisted on the goal by directing the corner kick to Burke, who found the back of the net from six yards out.
Ashton then went on to provide an insurance goal when she scored off of a penalty kick at 81:42. Her goal brought the final score of 3-1.
Senior keeper Heather Sanden (Manassas, Va.) made five saves in the victory for ETSU, while Kara Zagol made 11 saves in the loss for the Phoenix.
"Heather had a great night in goal," said Henson. "Even though she made fewer saves then in previous games, the saves she made tonight were great and important for the win."
The game marked the final home game of the season for the Buccaneers and the last time seniors Brown and Sanden would grace Liberty Bell field in a Buccaneer uniform. The two were recognized for their dedication and accomplishments in their four-year history in the program with a pre-game ceremony.
"There were a lot of emotions going on tonight because of senior night," said Henson. "We knew that this was going to be difficult, but we were able to collect ourselves towards the end to win control of the ball and find the back of the net."
The Bucs now begin a series of three SoCon road games. Their first stop is Greensboro, N.C. on Sunday October 26th, where they will face the UNCG Spartans. Game time is set for 2:00 p.m.