JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (September 28, 2008)- After winning its opening Atlantic Sun Conference match Friday against Jacksonville, the ETSU women's soccer team could not maintain its momentum dropping its first league contest at North Florida 2-1 Sunday, in Jacksonville, Fla.
ETSU opened the scoring first, as junior forward Jordan Monty (Mesquite, Texas), fired a shot that would rebound off the UNF crossbar, where fellow teammate Rachel Van Horn (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), would be waiting to convert the rebound for the matches first goal.
Van Horn's goal would be the only one of the first half, as the Bucs headed into the intermission with a one goal lead.
"Early on our team played hard and kept the pressure on UNF's defense," said head coach Heather Henson. "Rachel (Van Horn), did a good job staying with the play and giving us a early lead so that gave us some momentum heading into the break. But give credit to North Florida for adjusting at the end of the first half, which limitied our offensive opportunities."
As Jacksonville did in Friday's match, North Florida would not go home empty handed. Ten minutes into the second half, the Lady Ospreys' Katy Dearing found teammate Elena Luzins for the game-tying goal, in the 57th minute.
As both teams battled for possession for the next 20 minutes, the Lady Ospreys would continue to put pressure on ETSU freshman goalkeeper Megan Masch (Virginia Beach, Va.). After the Osprey's played a ball inside the ETSU box, UNF forward Katelin Swift picked up the loss ball and fired home the game-winning goal with 14 minutes to play.
"In the second half our center-midfielders had some chances to find our forwards, but the team didn't do a good job of readjusting to UNF's speed," said Henson. "When you sit back on your heels against a team like North Florida its hard to maintain ball control and keep the pressure off your defense. Give credit to Katelin (Swift) who is a great player for their team. Anytime you give a good goal scorer like her that many opportunities around the net, more times then not, they are going to convert shots into goals. In college soccer, every player has to play hard for a full 90 minutes to be successful and that‘s something that we didn't do a great job of maintaining this afternoon."
Despite dropping this contest, ETSU did earn three team points in the A-Sun standing this opening weekend.
"It was tough losing this match but I'm proud of the fact that our team did split on the road," said Henson. "This is a tough league and anytime you can earn points early in the season, its only going to help the team's confidence as we move forward."
ETSU returns to action as they host A-Sun rival Lipscomb, at 1:30 p.m., at Summers-Taylor Stadium. This will be the Bucs first home match since hosting in-state rival Vanderbilt, September 5th.