by Stephen Case – Staff Writer – firstname.lastname@example.org
The UNC Asheville women’s soccer team finished managed an even record for the week after recording their first shut out of the season Sunday afternoon.Thursday night the Bulldogs were shutout for the second time this season by Furman, 6-0. “The result from Furman was not an indicator of how well we possessed the ball,” Head Coach Michelle Demko said after the loss. “We made six mistakes in our own 18-yard box, and the result was six goals in the net for Furman. Outside our own 18-yard box, that was our most complete game to date. We moved the ball well, had great runs off the ball and the speed of play was very good.”
The Bulldogs were outshot by Furman 25 to 10 in the game, while UNCA goalkeeper Heather Muller recorded seven saves.
UNCA gave up all six of their goals in the first 45 minutes of the game.
Jamie Alexander of Furman scored two goals, leading the Paladins to a 5-1 record on the season.
After the loss, UNCA was eager to get back onto the field and prove they are a much better team than the Furman game showed.
UNCA blanked Wofford 4-0 Sunday afternoon to improve their record to 2-5 on the season.
“We had multiple goals from multiple players,” said Demko. “Our speed of play was dangerous from the get-go. We cleaned up a few things tactically. This was another good and complete game from start to finish for us.”
Ferriss Roberts sent the ball in from the corner to Kaitlyn Eckert for a six yard header goal in minute 4 of the game to set the tone.
Muller was the star of the game. Not only did she have seven saves, she also recorded an assist to Amanda Knapp in minute 27.
“I’ve always been able to get the ball down there, but I’ve just never had anyone finish it,” said Muller. “I saw open space down there, and Amanda was able to finish it.”
At halftime, the Bulldogs led 2-0. They came out in the second half with the same attack mentality.
“I think we did really well defensively,” freshman Paige Trent said. “There were a lot of shots, and we were communicating really well.”
In minute 49, Kelsey Palmer sent a corner kick in, and Trent finished with an eight yard header of her own to add to the lead.
Eckert had another play on the ball as she assisted Shenny Lenhart’s goal in the minute 55.
This was a great team win in the eyes of everyone. Each player played for a significant portion of the game and stayed active around the net to help preserve the shutout throughout the game, according to Demko.
“We just really needed this win,” Eckert said. “It puts us on the right path before conference begins.”
Demko really feels this team is coming together at the right time. At one point in the game, there were eight freshmen on the field for the Bulldogs.
“This gives good momentum,” Demko said. “It’s the right time going from the tail end of non-conference and coming into conference play. It’s the right time that we want things to be falling into place.”
The Bulldogs finish their non-conference schedule Friday night at Greenwood field as they take on Appalachian State.