ETSU continues its best conference start in program history
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (October 7, 2011) – Junior forward Morgan Thomas (Maryville, Tenn.) netted the game-winning goal in the 79th minute to snap a, 1-1, tie, as the ETSU women’s soccer team remained perfect in Atlantic Sun Conference play after capturing a, 2-1, victory over North Florida on Friday night at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
Thomas recorded her second goal of the year after freshman Ellis Parsons (Cardiff, Wales) found the Maryville, Tenn. native open with a cross through the left side of the box. Earlier in the match, senior Genna Petersen (Loveland, Ohio) put the Blue and Gold ahead, 1-0, after she lifted a shot past the keeper’s head in the 10th minute of the contest.
“I’m very happy with the result tonight,” commented head coach Adam Sayers. “We performed very strongly in the second half and created a couple of good opportunities before we eventually scored the winner.”
ETSU (9-3-0, 4-0-0 A-Sun) has now won five-consecutive matches to tie the program record set in a victory over Stetson on November 7, 2007. The win is also the Lady Bucs’ ninth in their last 10 games, outscoring their opponents 29-7 along the way.
The last three wins have not come easily, as ETSU has had to score a second-half goal to win, 2-1, in every match. The Lady Bucs have now played nine one goal contests with a record of 6-3-0 in those matches. Eight of the nine one-goal games have ended with a final of 2-1.
UNF (6-8-1, 2-3-0 A-Sun) put an equalizer through just nine minutes after Petersen’s goal gave ETSU the early lead, but were outshot 10-3 through the second half as Thomas’ clutch goal moved the Lady Bucs’ point total to 12 in conference play.
The scoring started when sophomore Ramey Kerns (Kings Mountain, N.C.) developed an opportunity in the 10th minute. Bringing the ball down along the near left side line, Kerns crossed a ball past UNF’s defense and hit Petersen in stride at the top of the box. The senior had nobody but the Osprey’s keeper, Megan Dorsey, in front of her, and fought off a trailing defender to blast a shot over Dorsey and through for a goal. The score was Petersen’s seventh of the season to tie her for the team lead with freshman Jenna Caudle (Middletown, Md.)
The Ospreys responded in the 19th minute courtesy of Carolina Lencina. The team’s leading shot-taker got free along the left side of the box, made a cut back on the ETSU defense and fired a shot past senior Caitlin Gaughan (Indianapolis, Ind.) in goal to equalize the match.
Although giving up a goal, Gaughan made four saves through the opening half and, as she has done all year, held UNF off the scoreboard through the rest of the match.
The Lady Bucs and Ospreys took the draw into halftime with UNF holding a 7-2 shot advantage while edging ETSU 2-1 in corners.
As has been the case throughout the season, the Lady Bucs took over in the second half. Barely over a minute had passed before Caudle broke free with an excellent opportunity to score. The freshman got Dorsey one on one and took a shot that slid by the keeper and seemed headed into the net, but the chance went begging right of the post to hold the game even.
The Middletown Md. native all but scored a second time, when a cross was sent in along the end line that Caudle redirected towards goal. The redirect went past Dorsey and rolled ever so innocently towards the goal line before an Osprey defender kicked the ball off the line before it fully crossed.
Caudle and Thomas took a game-high three shots each, with both putting two attempts on goal.
With the game still deadlocked, Parsons saw an opening and took the ball up the near right side of the field. With teammates in the box, Parsons crossed in a ball that bounced past Petersen and was settled down by Thomas. After taking one step towards goal, Thomas fired into the back of the net and ETSU held on through the final eleven minutes for the victory.
The Lady Bucs continue their brief home stand on Sunday afternoon, when they host Jacksonville in a battle of top A-Sun teams. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
For more information on ETSU women’s soccer please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s soccer links.