ETSU can clinch a spot in the Atlantic Sun tournament with a win at NKU Sunday
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 25, 2013) - The ETSU women's soccer team couldn't have captured its first conference road win at a more opportune time. Trailing Lipscomb by two points for the sixth and final bid to the upcoming Atlantic Sun league tournament, the Bucs handed the Bisons their first home loss since Sept. 9, picking up a 1-0 win along with sole possession of sixth place in the conference standings.
"We are very proud of the players for that performance," ETSU head coach Adam Sayers said. "They knew it was a must-win game, and rose to the occasion."
In recent weeks, ETSU had endured its fair share of bad bounces and tough breaks; however, the Bucs' fortunes finally turned Friday night, as a second-half goal by sophomore Sarah Zadrazil (St. Gilgen, Austria) lifted ETSU to its fifth consecutive victory over Lipscomb, four of which have been shutouts.
The Bucs (7-8-2, 3-4-1) broke the scoreless draw in the 74th minute when junior Ellis Parson (Cardiff, Wales) assisted Zadrazil on her team-best eighth goal of the season.
"Sarah [Zadrazil]'s goal was fantastic," Sayers said. "But there were big-game performances all over the pitch."
Despite the Bisons (5-7-5, 2-3-3) outshooting ETSU, 11-6, in the match, the Buccaneers were able to overcome Lipscomb's offensive attack, keeping their tournament hopes alive.
"Lipscomb is a dangerous team with some very good players," Sayers said. "They had the better of the early part of the first half, and created some good chances. Their forward movement was quick and fluid. We weathered that, and began to get a foothold in the game.
We played very well in the second half," Sayers continued. "After we got the lead, everyone contributed very well to protecting it."
ETSU held Lipscomb's Ellen Lundy without a shot on goal in the match. Lundy entered the contest ranking 13th in the nation for goals scored (13).
Freshman goalkeeper Jasmine Elliott (Preston, England) made a pair of saves for the Bucs en route to tallying her second shutout of the season.
With the win, ETSU moved ahead of Lipscomb for the decisive sixth spot in the Atlantic Sun standings, denying the Bisons the opportunity to clinch their first league tournament bid in program history.
Only the top six teams will advance to next weekend's conference tournament. The top five spots have been solidifed, with ETSU, Lipscomb, and North Florida vying for the final bid. View the updated conference standings at AtlanticSun.org under the 'Standings' tab.
ETSU will look to punch its ticket to the Atlantic Sun Championships Sunday, Oct. 27 when it visits Northern Kentucky for its final regular season game.
"We are very happy," Sayers said. "But we know we have another must-win gmae on Sunday, so our focus is now on that."
The Bucs can clinch the sixth seed in the tournament with a win Sunday.