Lady Pilots win streak continues with 3-0 victory over Warriors
September 17, 2005
Conway, AR---If you told LSUS women’s soccer coach Jed Jones at the beginning of August that is Lady Pilots would be 6-2 at the half way point of their inaugural season, he would have said “I expect to be.” After a 3-0 victory of the Hendrix College Warriors Friday afternoon the Lady Pilots are just that; 6-2 overall despite losing their first two regular season games.
The Lady Pilots drew first blood versus the Warriors when Shaderia Evans blasted a free kick from her own side of half that bounced over a line of Warrior defenders and was headed into the back of the net by LSUS team captain Michelle Williamson for her third goal of the season and a 1-0 Lady Pilot lead just 8:06 into the contest.
At the 10:23 mark, Lady Pilot midfielder Brenna Bussart struck a pass from Lacy Biggs out of the air from the top of the box that rang off the crossbar, denying Bussart her 7th goal of the season.
Warriors starting goal keeper Mindy Eggert was tested often and early in the first half. Eggert made some key stops to keep her team within one goal, including the best save of the half at the 27:41 mark when Williamson faked a direct kick which was followed up by Evans who sent a booming shot on goal that was stopped just inside the right post by a diving Eggert.
The Warriors managed their first scoring opportunity 31:30 into the first half when Michelle Story sent a high sailing shot on goal that rattled off the crossbar and was immediately cleared by Lady Pilot defender Kristin Schaeffer.
The LSUS offense managed to get inside the Warrior defense again during the 35th minute when Kary Petersen sent leading scorer Katrina Blackwell in all alone with a deep pass but Blackwell lifted the shot high of the goal. Just 0:30 later, Calandre Singh found herself all alone in front of Eggert after taking a pass from Blackwell but was denied by Eggert who positioned herself perfectly to make her second big stop of the half.
After stealing an errant Warrior pass, Blackwell was fouled as she streaked across midfield setting up a direct free kick for the Lady Pilots from 35 yards out. Evans was selected to take the kick and sent a high curling shot on goal that hooked into the top right corner of the net untouched for her 3rd goal of the season and a 2-0 LSUS lead.
With just 0:30 remaining Krystel Reilly raced passed the Warrior defense and found herself one-on-one with Eggert. Reilly tried to poke a shot to the right corner of the goal but was denied by Eggert who collected her 7th save of the half, keeping the score 2-0 in favor of the Lady Pilots at the half.
The LSUS defense managed to hold the Warriors to a single shot on goal in the second half which was stopped by starting goal keeper Sarah McLean, who collected her 3rd shutout of the season as the Lady Pilots went on to win their 6th consecutive game by a final score of 3-0.
Hannah Jennings rounded off the Pilots scoring attack when she curled a corner kick passed goal keeper Mellissa Taylor, who replaced Eggert in goal at the half, for her second goal of the season.
The Lady Pilots managed 31 shots in the match, 13 of witch were on goal while holding the Warriors to 14 shots and only 6 on goal. Despite being out shot by a 13-6 margin, Warriors assistant coach Tom Knorr was happy with his team’s effort. “I felt that we played the better possession game but did not capitalize on our chances. They got a couple of breaks that found the back of the net and we didn’t. LSUS is a very good team and we wish them luck with the rest of their season,” concluded Knorr after Friday’s contest.
Williamson’s goal in the first half stood as the game winner, giving her a team high three game winning goals this season. “We are plying better as a team everyday. We are practicing hard and taking what we do at practice into the games and it is paying off,” explained Williamson whose athleticism has enabled her to become the quarterback of the Pilots offense. “Today was Michelle’s best game of the year. She is starting to learn the discipline it takes to be a center-midfielder at the college level,” said coach Jones of Williamson.
Despite the 6-2 overall record which includes a current six game win streak, the Lady Pilots have one small obstacle they must overcome in order to reach their goal of winning a Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. One of the two Lady Pilot losses this season was a 3-1 loss at the hands of William Carey College, a GCAC opponent. LSUS currently has the most wins in the GCAC but remains at the bottom of the GCAC at 0-1, as no other conference games have been played. In order to reach the GCAC conference tournament and play for the right to compete for a Region XIII championship, the Lady Pilots must finish in the top 4 teams of the 6 team conference which includes the 15th ranked University of Mobile, Spring Hill College, Belhaven College, Loyola University, and William Carey College.
“I knew it was possible to be 6-2 because of the character of the players we have recruited. They are all winners who were not scared of the challenges they face as a first year program. However, I never would have dreamt that the team chemistry we have developed in such a short time would be this good. We knew that September may present some growing pains, but our goal was to be grown-ups by October and make the GCAC tournament, and take it one game at a time from there,” concluded Jones who is very optimistic about the upcoming second half of the season.
The Lady Pilots will return to action Tuesday afternoon at 5:00pm when they will play host to the LeTourneau University Lady Jackets.
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