COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 17, 2012) – The ETSU women’s soccer team opened up the 2012 season with a, 2-0, win over Tennessee Tech on Friday afternoon at Tech Soccer Field.
Freshman Sarah Zadrazil (St. Gilgen, Austria) racked up three points with a first-half goal as time expired to put the Lady Bucs in front, and assisted sophomore Kristi Davis (Edmond, Okla.) with the second half insurance goal. Freshman defender Hannah Short (Bristol, England) came up big for ETSU, saving a sure goal off the foot of Andrea Meloff with the Lady Bucs leading 1-0, as ETSU (1-0-0) spoiled Tennessee Tech’s (0-1-0) home opener to kick off the season in the win column.
“We’re very happy with the result and the team’s performance today,” ETSU head coach Adam Sayers said. “The goal just before halftime was a big lift for the team, and Kristi Davis’ second goal gave us a little more comfort as we were able to see the game out from there.
“I thought Hannah Short and Samantha Kron were absolutely fantastic as our center backs. Tennessee Tech attacked us in several different ways, and [Short and Kron] adjusted very well the entire game. I also thought Sarah Zadrazil was very good as the attacking midfield player. She scored the first goal for us right before halftime, and was constantly looking to receive the ball in advanced areas of the pitch and create problems for the opposition."
Sophomore Emilee Engelhaupt (Charlotte, N.C.) got the attack going for ETSU with the first shot of the season 12 minutes in. ETSU picked up its offense as the first half progressed, earning a corner and taking six more shots.
The Lady Bucs saw their first great opportunity come with three minutes remaining, when senior Morgan Thomas (Maryville, Tenn.) stole a pass and sprinted down the field behind junior forward Ramey Kerns (Kings Mountain, N.C.). Thomas led Kerns with a pass low through the box, and Kerns took a sliding shot which Tech keeper Jordan Brown saved from goal.
As the final seconds of the half ticked down, Zadrazil won a deflected ball just outside the top of the 18-yard box. Taking a moment to settle it, the Austrian freshman fired her first shot as a Lady Buccaneer into the left side of the net as the halftime horn sounded to put ETSU up, 1-0.
“I knew the clock was close to zero so I got the ball away as soon as I could,” Zadrazil said. “It was a bit lucky, but it felt great to score and put my team ahead.”
At the break, ETSU held the shot advantage 7-5, getting six of its seven attempts on goal. Tech managed just a single shot on goal which freshman goalkeeper Sierra Campbell (Thompson’s Station, Tenn.) stopped.
11 minutes into the second half, Tennessee Tech nearly found the equalizer when Kerri Reid took a shot from distance that bounced off the top of the crossbar. Four minutes later, Andrea Meloff won a ball deep inside the ETSU box and dribbled past Campbell in goal. With no keeper in front, freshman defender Hannah Short (Bristol, England) sprinted to the goal line and made a great individual save to keep ETSU’s lead intact.
“After [Meloff] got by Sierra, the first thing in my head was to get back there and defend the goal,” Short said. “I headed it out and was very happy to keep the team a clean sheet.”
ETSU then turned up the pressure and extended the lead courtesy of Davis. Zadrazil took the ball into Tech territory and found Davis with a pass through the top of the box, which the sophomore buried in the right side to jump the Lady Bucs ahead, 2-0.
Tech took three more opportunities at goal through the remaining 20 minutes, but never found the net as Campbell earned a shutout in her first collegiate start at goal.
“I’m certainly happy with the win and the clean sheet,” Sayers added. “We’ll now look forward to Sunday’s game in Asheville.”
The ETSU women’s soccer team travels to Asheville, N.C. on Sunday to take on UNC Asheville at 1 p.m.
For more information on ETSU women’s soccer please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s soccer links.