ETSU clinches spot in A-Sun Tournament with seventh-consecutive win
DELAND, Fla. (October 14, 2011) – With a six-goal outburst on Friday night, the ETSU women’s soccer team improved to 6-0 in conference play and clinched a spot in the Atlantic Sun Tournament, defeating Stetson, 6-3.
“Stetson started very strongly by pushing the ball forward with numbers and moving the ball well,” said ETSU head coach Adam Sayers. “They took an early lead but we responded very well to going a goal down.
“Give credit to Stetson as they kept battling all the way through. During the second half they put us under pressure by scoring a couple more goals, but we were able to hold on for the win and I’m obviously very happy with that.”
Freshman Jenna Caudle (Middletown, Md.) led the ETSU charge with her first collegiate hat-trick, scoring once in the first half and twice in the second, and has now totaled 10 goals on the season. Senior Genna Petersen (Loveland, Ohio) added another goal and an assist, as she leads the team in points (25), assists (5) and shares the team lead for goals at 10 with Caudle.
Caudle finished with a game-high nine shots, seven on goal, to help the Lady Bucs (11-3-0, 6-0-0 A-Sun) edge Stetson (2-10-2, 1-4-1 A-Sun) 20-14 in shots. ETSU was on target most of the night, putting 15 shots on goal in its second-highest scoring game of the year.
“Jenna Caudle was absolutely fantastic tonight,” commented Sayers on Caudle’s performance. “It’s not just the goals, but it’s her all-around play at the center forward position. She held the ball up well, brought others into play when it was the right thing to do and when she got chances she finished them excellently. Her contribution really set us up for the win.
“Petersen has performed so well and so consistently. Every time she gets the ball she is a threat to the opposition. Not only does she contribute with goals, but assists as well. She’s playing so well and with so much confidence that it’s great to see.”
Scoring six goals, the 2011 Lady Bucs left another mark in the record books. ETSU has now scored 40 goals this year to eclipse the mark for goals in a season set back in 2005 when the Lady Bucs scored 39 times. Sayers’ squad has also tallied 111 total points, 40 goals and 31 assists, to break the record of 110 set in 2007.
While ETSU looked impressive in the win, the entire match did not belong to the young squad. In the 15th minute it was the Hatters who struck for the game’s first goal when Colleen O’Kennedy put a shot through multiple teammates and defenders in the box to sneak in for a goal.
Stetson celebrated its early lead for 5:35 before Petersen fed Caudle a through ball to leave her all alone with Stetson’s goalkeeper Grace Turner. The freshman finished the chance to equalize the match with her eighth goal of the season.
After a series which yielded three yellow cards to ETSU and Stetson combined, sophomore Lucy Goffe (Birmingham, England) collected a deflection near goal and slipped a shot to Turner’s right to put the Lady Bucs on top before the half.
The halftime line showed ETSU leading 8-4 in shots and 4-1 in corners. Half of the Lady Bucs’ eight shots were on goal while the only Hatter shot on target was the early goal.
A script which has been replayed time and time again this year, the Lady Bucs dominated the second half. Already leading 2-1, ETSU put up four more scores in the second 45 minutes to take a commanding lead and hold off a second effort from the Hatters.
In the sixth minute of the second frame, Petersen made the most of an opportunity to score her 10th goal of the season. The senior midfielder got the ball at the top of the box and blasted a ball into the upper-right corner to put ETSU up two goals.
Caudle sent her second goal of the match less than three minutes later. Sophomore Morgan Thomas (Maryville, Tenn.) led Caudle with a through ball and the freshman sensation converted as suddenly a one-goal game at halftime turned into a, 4-1, ETSU advantage just 10 minutes into the new half.
“Morgan Thomas is in fine form,” added Sayers. “She’s contributing with both goals and assists and it’s very important to do so. With both Caudle and Petersen contributing from the central positions, it’s important to have an outlet wide and Thomas has provided that and is playing very well.”
Thomas was not finished with her night. The sophomore did some scoring of her own halfway through the period with a run down the left side and a shot that went back across the body of Turner and into the lower right corner. The score moved Thomas’ goal total to four on the year as ETSU put in five unanswered goals to lead 5-1.
After a Stetson response, Caudle completed the hat-trick with a goal in the 74th minute. The freshman found herself on another breakaway and put a shot past Laura Seletos for ETSU’s sixth goal of the match. Seletos replaced Turner at the net in the 69th minute after Turner had conceded five goals.
When the match ended, the Lady Bucs walked away with their seventh-consecutive victory and have now won 11 of their last 12 contests. Propelling themselves into the A-Sun tournament, the Lady Bucs will now work on earning a favorable seed.
The opportunity to do so will come in less than 48 hours, as ETSU heads 195 miles south to Fort Myers for a Sunday afternoon match with Florida Gulf Coast (10-3-2, 5-0-1 A-Sun) at 1 p.m.
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.