Lady Bucs 2-0 for the first time since 2008
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (Aug. 19, 2012) – Senior Morgan Thomas (Maryville, Tenn.) scored with 2:17 remaining in double overtime, as the ETSU women’s soccer team finished opening weekend undefeated by taking down UNC Asheville, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon at Greenwood Field.
After Asheville equalized the game with five minutes remaining in regulation, ETSU (2-0-0) relentlessly attacked the net through both overtime periods as the Lady Bucs outshot UNC Asheville (0-2-0) 10-2 through the two 10-minute sessions. After junior Ramey Kerns (Kings Mountain, N.C.) and freshman Megan Wynne (St. Albans, England) each nearly won the game earlier in overtime, Thomas beat Asheville keeper Heather Muller with the golden goal taking a shot high and back across toward the right post off a brilliant through ball from Kerns.
“We had a lot of opportunities through the overtimes, and a lot of chances we could have put in the back of the net,” Thomas said. “Ramey [Kerns] turned and slotted the perfect ball through to put me one-on-one with the keeper, and we capitalized on it.”
Freshman goalkeeper Sierra Campbell (Thompson’s Station, Tenn.) had a game to remember, making 14 saves off 26 Asheville shots, and was commended for her effort by head coach Adam Sayers. ETSU took its fair share of shots as well, firing 24 attempts at goal through regulation and both overtime periods.
“I’m certainly happy with the character of the team after today’s performance,” Sayers said. “We conceded a free kick in the last few minutes of the game, which was frustrating, but the character of the team to come back and dominate the overtime period was exceptional.”
The Lady Bucs took their first shot 11 minutes in, as freshman Sarah Zadrazil (St. Gilgen, Austria) found sophomore Kristi Davis (Edmond, Okla.) with a good look at goal. Davis beat Muller with her shot, but had it roll just wide of the post. Davis continued to threaten the Bulldogs’ defense in the 17th minute, connecting with a header that Muller saved off a cross from Wynne.
Thirty minutes into the half, Campbell came up big for the Lady Bucs with two outstanding saves. Paige Trent had control of the ball for Asheville off the right side of the box, and took a shot toward the left post which Campbell fully extended for to keep the game scoreless. Off the ensuing corner, Campbell was again called upon to make a diving save off the foot of Trent on Asheville’s tenth shot of the half.
At the half, Asheville held the shot advantage, 15-6, with Campbell making 10 saves through the opening 45 minutes.
ETSU came out in the second half to a quick strike from Kerns to take the lead. Off a pass from Zadrazil, Kerns got the ball inside the 6-yard box and beat Muller to the right side putting the Lady Bucs ahead just 14 seconds into the half.
Wynne nearly extended the lead in the 72nd minute, as she headed an attempt at goal off a cross from Zadrazil inside the 6-yard box, but the attempt bounced just wide of the left post.
The Bulldogs responded with a near goal of their own, as Kennedy Garrett fired an attempt from distance that bounced off the top of the crossbar and out over the goal line. Garrett took another opportunity at goal minutes later, sneaking a shot underneath an outstretched Campbell that hit the right post before being corralled by the freshman keeper.
Asheville finally broke through with five minutes to play. Melanie Cusi flew a cross through the penalty area that Amanda Dailor headed into the right side of the net, equalizing the game.
With just seconds remaining in regulation, ETSU nearly found the winner. Lucy Goffe (Birmingham, England) sent a pass downfield to a sprinting Davis, who beat Muller to the ball but had her shot deflected and roll out over the goal line.
The overtimes belonged to ETSU, firing shot after shot at Muller before breaking through in the final minutes of the second session.
Kerns and Wynne each nearly won the game for the Lady Bucs with two great chances in the first overtime. Kerns took a shot at the left side which was saved by Muller and banged off the left post, while Wynne had an open opportunity near the right side of goal that Muller reached up for and saved from under the crossbar.
Thomas highlighted the second overtime, earning ETSU its first 2-0 start since 2008.
“I’m very pleased with attitude of the team and the will to never give in,” Sayers added. “The team stuck to the game plan and got the result in the end.”
ETSU kicks off the home season on Friday, Aug. 24, when it welcomes Presbyterian to Summers-Taylor Stadium at 7 p.m.
For more information on ETSU women’s soccer please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s soccer links.