|August 29, 2021||1st||2nd||1OT||2OT||Final|
East Tennessee State
|ETSU||101:58||Sydney Somogyi (Kendall King )|
|Stats at a Glance||ETSU||UNCA|
|Shots (on Goal)||17 (6)||13 (3)|
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Aug. 28, 2021) – Fresh off a dominating performance, the ETSU women’s soccer team looks to continue their strong start to the season as they head to take on UNCA on the road Sunday afternoon.
After a weather delay interrupted what would’ve been the season-opener at Ole Miss, the Bucs instead faced Presbyterian at home to kick off their season. The matchup with the Bulldogs will be the first road test of the season, facing off for the first time since a 1-0 defeat in 2019.
ETSU at UNCA
Sunday, August 29 | 2 p.m. | Asheville, N.C.
Head Coach Jay Yelton wasted no time finding out about his squad, including getting a look at seven of the eight newcomers in the 1-0 win against Presbyterian. The Bucs wasted no time grabbing their first goal, needing less than five minutes for newly converted winger Katie Philips (Tega Cay, S.C.) to strike. A barrage of Buccaneer shots continued to pepper the Blue Hose goal, both keepers for Presbyterian standing tall to the challenge. Despite being unable to find the back of the net, the Blue and Gold were comfortable in defense, thwarting off any buildup in their defensive third.
21 of the eligible 24 players for the contest made an appearance, providing depth that has not been there early in the Yelton tenure. 11 different players registered a shot in the opener, Philips leading with five shots while both Jocelyn Nehls (New Richmond, Ohio) and Nele Bauer (Bammental, Germany) both added three.
Returning from an injury that kept her out all but six mintues of the spring season, Pamela Penaloza (Bogota, Colombia) controlled a very stout Buccaneer defense, breaking up everything in sight. The center of the backline is full of youth and experience, Penaloza’s seventh season being countered by a solid 90 minute performance from freshman Sydney Somogyi (Germantown, Tenn.). Primarily a winger her whole career, Maegan Sours (Erie, Colo.) made a strong debut of her new position in an outside back role, providing the assist with a brilliant ball over the top of the defense to unlock the Blue Hose for the eventual game winner.
The Bulldogs enter Sunday’s contest with a trio of familiar opponents having already hosted the Asheville side. UNCA enters the match 0-3 on the year, with results against App State (0-3), Western Carolina (1-2) and Furman (0-2) concluded a tough three game stretch on the road to start the campaign. The match against the Bucs begins a five game homestand for the Bulldogs, who will look to shake their 4-10 record at Greenwood Soccer Field over the last two seasons.
Taylor Gardner has made an immediate impact as a freshman for her Bulldog side, the New Jersey native scoring the only goal of the season. Only 15 shots have been recorded from Bulldogs, Gardner and Gillian Oyos pacing the team with three apiece. Two keepers have already seen action in the three matches this season. Bronwyn Luitwieler has played in one match, facing 29 shots and making 10 saves against Western Carolina in 2-1 defeat. Courtney O’Malley has been on call the other two contests, just six saves in her two losses.
Meeting for the 16th time in program history, the Bucs and Bulldogs will have played just twice since 2012 after Sunday’s contest. The Bulldogs hold a 9-6 advantage over the Bucs, including a 5-2 mark when hosting the contest. The good news for ETSU: the last two times on the road against UNCA have been the two victories in the series.
The goal against Presbyterian marked the first time in the Yelton era the Bucs scored in the first half, all six goals of a shortened spring 2021 season coming after the halftime whistle. It also proved to be the quickest goal since the victory over The Citadel in 2019, where Sydney Cavendar opened the scoring 88 seconds into the match. ETSU comes off their most productive performance in terms of shots in the Yelton era, creating 23 shots and 13 on target.