Women’s soccer clenches win over Eastern Kentucky, falls to Belmont

By Harrison Slaughter – [email protected] – Staff Writer | Sept. 17, 2014 |
The UNC Asheville women’s soccer team opened up the weekend with a 2-1 win over Eastern Kentucky. The Bulldogs scored two early goals and held off a comeback try from the Colonels.
“We came out against Eastern Kentucky and it was incredibly evident what our game plan was,” said Michelle Demko, coach of the UNCA women’s soccer team. “Kudos to the girls and all the credit goes to them. They did it and they stuck to the game plan and we got out of there with a win.”
According to Demko, the Bulldogs prepared for the game by working on attacking formations.
“Leading up to that week, we had been in training, really focusing on creating numbers up front situations,” Demko said. “We wanted to make 2 on 1 situations anywhere and everywhere on the field we can in our attacking half.”
Amanda Dailor, captain for the UNCA women’s soccer team, put the Bulldogs up 1-0 with a bullet off a free kick into the upper right corner of the goal in the 11th minute of play.
“It felt fantastic to score. I just wanted to get it in there and coach was like shoot it low, which meant get it on frame,” Dailor said. “So I got it on frame and it went in and that’s all I care about. I can’t second-guess that.”
During the 13th minute of play, Paige Trent gave the bulldogs a little breathing room with a goal on a through ball fed from Kennedy Garrett.
Heather Muller, goalkeeper for the women’s soccer team, made 11 saves throughout the game with only one goal allowed.
“Heather was huge for us against Eastern Kentucky. They play a pretty direct style so a lot of through balls came into her box and she just had one of those days where everything she came for was great,” Demko said. “She was confident. She was a great leader for us. She was just a huge presence for us.”
Cassie Smith got the Colonels on the board with a goal an hour into play.
UNCA withstood a final surge from Eastern Kentucky to hold on and pick up the win.
The Bulldogs fell to Belmont 2-1 on Sunday after taking an early lead into the locker room at halftime.
According to Dailor, the Bulldogs have a lot of people out with injuries. They have had a lot of concussion injuries and it is a very big blow to not have Kaitlyn Eckert, forward for the women’s soccer team, out there on the attack with them.
“They went with around 12 subs off the bench. When a team does that it slows the game down a bit so the rhythm goes away,” Demko said. “Fatigue could have also played a factor. It’s difficult when you have a night game on Friday, a four and a half hour bus ride home and then an early game on Sunday.”
Although Belmont outshot the Bulldogs 11-5 in the first half, UNCA would take a 1-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
On a corner kick about midway through the first half, Caroline Houser put a ball in a seemingly good position for Belmont’s Goalkeeper, Megan Byrd, to get her hands on it. She was unable to get a hold on it. Brooke Miller, freshman forward for the bulldogs, was able to slip in and put the ball in the back of the net for her first collegiate goal.
“It felt good to score that goal. I was just glad I was there because we knew she might not catch the ball, so I knew I just had to be there,” Miller said. “I just wanted to get there as fast as I could. I wanted to score.”
In the 51st minute of play the Bulldogs were given a yellow card which resulted in a free kick for the Bruins a little outside the 18 yard box. Belmont found an equalizer with a header from Taylor Smith on a ball sent into the goal area by Allison Alcott.
Shortly after that, Belmont took the lead with a wide open shot from Allie Hicks in front of the goal.
“The intensity went up. We switched our formations and that was new for us,” Dailor said. “It was just really something fresh and we don’t do that often. I’m really proud of the team for sticking it out with that.”
According to Demko, the game against Belmont was a really gutsy performance from the Bulldogs.
“Historically Belmont is a very good program. The way we came out and the way we played shows the growth in our program,” Demko said. “Today was really just about a total team effort. We had a number of players that were asked to play different positions in the run of the game. They never bat an eye. They always say whatever we need to do for the team is what we’ll do.”