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Denver Opens SBC Play with 4-2 Win

Published: September 23, 2011

DENVER – The University of Denver women’s soccer team avenged its loss against Middle Tennessee in the 2010 Sun Belt Conference Championship game on Friday, earning a 4-2 win over the Blue Raiders in the SBC opener for both teams.

Kristen Hamilton (Littleton, Colo.) led DU with her second two-goal game of the season, while Nicholette DiGiacomo (Golden, Colo.) and Bria Beardsley (Mission Viejo, Calfi.) also scored. Goalkeeper Lara Campbell (Anchorage, Alaska) made one save in the win.

“I thought that we came out very excited to play, which was good to see after the loss on Sunday,” head coach Jeff Hooker said.  “It was nice to start the conference with a win. We really came out flying in the first half, getting a couple of goals and putting ourselves in a really good spot.”

DiGiacomo opened the scoring in the fifth minute on Kari Storslett’s (Bakersfield, Calif.) first assist of the season. Storslett carried the ball at her feet down the goal line, and sent a cross on the ground to DiGiacomo at the top of the 18. DiGiacomo snuck a shot by MT keeper Rebecca Cushing (four saves) into the lower left corner of the net.

Hamilton gave the Pioneers (7-2-0, 1-0-0 SBC) a 2-0 advantage in the 18th minute off a set-piece. Beardsley sent the corner kick into the Blue Raiders (3-6-0, 0-1-0 SBC) six-yard box and Hamilton got the loose ball on her foot, and put it by the keeper.

MT closed the gap to 2-1 on a bomb off the foot of sophomore midfielder Jessika Oseguera in the 21st minute from 25 yards out.

Freshman defender Sam Harder (Centennial, Colo.) scored her first career goal in the 33rd minute catching the MT keeper off her line, bouncing a shot over Cushing’s outstretched arms, and under the cross bar to make it 3-1.

Hamilton scored her second of the match, and her sixth of the season in the 78th minute as she deflected a shot off the foot of Beardsley into the back of the net.

Before DU finished its celebration of Hamilton’s goal that put the Pioneers up 4-1, senior forward Shan Jones scored her third goal of the season from just inside the box to bring the Blue Raiders back to within two.

The Pioneers outshot MT 12-5 in the first half, and 15-8 in the match.

DU will end their current four game home-stand on Sunday when they host to Western Kentucky at 1 p.m. MT.

Tickets are available for $5 for general admission and $8 for reserved seat back chairs. To purchase tickets, visit denverpioneers.com or visit the DU Ritchie Center West Box Office. Groups of 20 or more can get discounted tickets for $3 apiece. For group tickets, contact Adam Sizemore at 303-871-2389 or at adam.sizemore@du.edu.

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