ETSU gets second opportunity for five in a row
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (October 6, 2011) – Off to its best conference start in program history, the ETSU women’s soccer team heads back to Summers-Taylor Stadium for a weekend series against North Florida and Jacksonville.
The Lady Bucs welcome UNF on Friday at 7 p.m. and then conclude the weekend when JU visits Johnson City on Sunday at 1 p.m.
ETSU (8-3-0, 3-0-0 A-Sun) had never started conference play with three wins, but under first-year head coach Adam Sayers the Lady Bucs have done just that. Two weeks ago ETSU opened up the A-Sun schedule with a, 4-0, victory over USC Upstate, and last weekend the Lady Bucs pulled out two come-from-behind victories in their trip to Nashville. In both games, ETSU trailed 1-0 at halftime, only to score twice in the second half and walk away victorious.
A pivotal part to last weekend’s results was the play of sophomore Ramey Kerns (Kings Mountain, N.C.) and freshman Taylor Maxson (Lewisville, Texas). Against Lipscomb, Kerns sent in a cross directly to Maxson which the freshman one-timed into the net to equalize the match and start the comeback. The duo hooked up again against Belmont on Sunday, reversing roles and at a much more crucial point of the game. With the scored tied in the 87th minute, it was Maxson who found Kerns in the left side of the box, and the Kings Mountain native fired a shot back across the body of Belmont’s goalie to give ETSU the lead and eventual third win in conference play.
Freshman Jenna Caudle (Middletown, Md.) and senior Genna Petersen (Loveland, Ohio), ETSU’s leading goal scorers, added a couple scores of their own over the weekend. Petersen’s sixth goal of the season came against Lipscomb to put the Lady Bucs ahead in the 60th minute, and Caudle’s team-leading seventh goal of the year was the equalizer just six minutes into the second half against Belmont.
Petersen currently leads the A-Sun with three game-winning goals while ranking second with 16 points. A point behind the senior is Caudle, who ranks third in the conference while also ranking second in goals with seven. The freshman’s seven scores also rank in the top 50 nationally.
The Lady Bucs offense leads the conference in goals (29), goals per game (2.64), assists (25), assists per game (2.27) and points (83). ETSU’s 29 goals through 11 games also ranks 13th in the NCAA.
Senior goalkeeper Caitlin Gaughan (Indianapolis, Ind.) conceded an early goal in both contests, but held down Lipscomb and Belmont through the second half of each match to give her team the opportunity to mount the comebacks. Gaughan ranks second in the A-Sun with a goals against average of 0.88 and has totaled four shutouts on the year.
North Florida (6-7-1, 2-2-0 A-Sun) has won its last two games in a row after starting 0-2 in the conference. Last Friday, the Ospreys earned their first A-Sun victory of the season in a convincing, 4-0, blowout of Mercer. UNF followed up that performance with a tough, 1-0, win against Kennesaw State.
Seven different Ospreys have scored multiple goals this season, with Lauren Hopfensperger leading the way. Hopfensperger has scored five times and tallied one assist to lead the team in both goals and points. The sophomore put up three points against Mercer, recording an assist and scoring a goal in the second half.
Jacksonville (7-4-2, 3-0-1 A-Sun) is the only team ahead of ETSU in the conference standings, with the Dolphins’ having played one more match than ETSU to sit one point ahead via a tie. The Dolphins ride a four game unbeaten streak into the weekend, with all four matches coming in A-Sun play.
Liz Fink, Kaitlyn Bassett and Racquel Weckhurst have scored three goals apiece to head the JU attack. Weckhurst has tallied an assist to lead the team with seven points, but Fink has proven to be the biggest threat on offense with 66 shots credited to her name this year. The closest to Fink in that category is Bassett with 28 shots.
Live stats and live video for both matches will be provided courtesy of ETSUBucs.com and ASun.TV.
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.