CLINTON, S.C – Senior Olivia Tucker had her second two-goal performance of the season and two other Bears added goals on Friday night as the Mercer women’s soccer team got back in the win column by shutting out Presbyterian, 4-0.
Sophomore Casey Barrett and junior Danielle Hesse each recorded a goal in the win. The Bears (5-2-0, 0-0-0 A-Sun) remain atop the current A-Sun standings heading into the team’s final non-conference game on Sunday at home against Alabama St.
“It was to get a another shutout on the road, but we still have areas to improve on,” head coach Grant Serafy said. “There are certainly things that we need to tighten up on defense and do it quick before we play on Sunday and before we start conference play.”
On Friday, Mercer needed to make a statement coming off two-straight losses at Georgia and No. 5 Florida St. The Bears responded well and were able to get the solid result, recording the team’s fifth shutout of the season in seven games.
Out of the gate, the Bears dictated their style of play and got off five shots and secured four corner kicks before Presbyterian could record their first shot. Three Bears had at least four shots in the game as Mercer held the overall advantage in shots 24-7.
Mercer put the first goal up in the 36th minute as Tucker deflected an Emerald Phillips service into the back of the net for her first of the night and fourth of the season. Phillips had two assists on the night and is now second on the team in total points this season with eight.
“Olivia played well offensively and defensively,” Serafy said. “Emerald was injured all week and she is getting slowly back into it so it was good to see her make plays tonight. She is always good with her distribution.”
Mercer went into halftime with just the 1-0 lead, but quickly put the game out of reach early in the second frame. Barrett buried her second of the season just 1:44 into the second half as she took a hard shot from the left side of the box to give the Orange and Black the 2-0 lead.
Tucker added her fifth of the year almost five minutes later off freshman Stephanie Giangiuli’s cross from the left side of the field. Giangiuli’s assist was the first point of her career at Mercer.
Then in the 70th minute, Phillips curled a long ball into the box that Hesse controlled and put a well-placed shot past Presbyterian’s keeper for the Bears fourth and final goal of the evening.
The Bears defense kept the Blue Hose at bay for the majority of the night as starting Mercer goalkeeper Cagney Valloch faced just four shots on goal. Valloch made all four saves on the night adding to her season total of 24.
Mercer has its final tune-up for A-Sun action this Sunday as the team welcomes in Alabama St. to Bear Field at 2 p.m.