JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 7, 2012) – Junior Ramey Kerns (Kings Mountain, N.C.) continued to light up the scoreboard, netting her first collegiate hat-trick as the ETSU women’s soccer team defeated Western Carolina, 3-2, on Friday night at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
Following a WCU (2-3-0) goal midway through the first half, Kerns heated up by scoring twice less than five minutes after the Catamounts had taken the lead. The junior striker’s third score proved to be the game-winner, as she confidently knocked in a 76th-minute penalty kick for her conference-leading eighth goal of the season.
Though she was the one doing all the scoring, Kerns was very quick to give a lot of the credit to Morgan Thomas (Maryville, Tenn.) and freshman Sara Zadrazil (St. Gilgen, Austria) for setting up the goals.
“I had some great passes from Morgan Thomas and Sarah Zadrazil,” Kerns said. “It was a good performance. We were able to pick our heads up from last weekend and come back from a 1-0 deficit in the first half.
Thomas assisted Kerns’ first goal with a cross from outside the right side of the box, while Zadrazil picked up her conference-leading sixth assist of the year on a nearly identical pass from the left half.
“We were looking for a response from last week’s result, and we certainly got that from every one of the players,” head coach Adam Sayers said. “The response to [WCU’s} goal was very positive by scoring two goals in quick succession. It was important that we kept on pressing and gave ourselves a two-goal cushion. I could not be happier with the team.”
Freshman goalkeeper Kara Krajenta (Cordova, Tenn.) made her first collegiate start, picking up her first win and recording her first save as a Lady Buc.
ETSU (5-1-0) outshot the Catamounts 17-9, with Kerns firing a game-high eight shots on the night.
The Catamounts struck for the game’s first score in the 31st minute. Markie Studnicky was fed a pass from Kelly Pannell in front of goal, and finished in the left side for her second goal of the season.
It was all Lady Bucs the remainder of the half, as ETSU responded quickly with two goals from Kerns. The team’s leading goal scorer netted her first goal of the night exactly one minute after WCU’s score, equalizing the game off Thomas’ assist. Her next goal came in the 36th minute, finishing off a cross from Zadrazil to put the Lady Bucs ahead for the first time on the night. The Zadrazil-to-Kerns combination has accounted for five of ETSU’s 12 goals this season.
ETSU took the one-goal lead into the break, outshooting the Catamounts 10-6 in the opening act with six of the Lady Bucs’ attempts coming off the foot of Kerns.
Sophomore Ellis Parsons (Cardiff, Wales) nearly added another highlight to the night in the second half. After a foul was called on Western Carolina, junior Samantha Kron (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) sent a dangerous ball into the box, which Parsons headed past WCU’s keeper Katie Jacobs. Fortunately for Jacobs, a Catamount defender was there to make the save and clear the ball away.
Instead, ETSU scored its third goal off a penalty kick. Thomas was in control of the ball inside the penalty area, but was fouled from behind and awarded a penalty kick by referee Chad Williams. Kerns stepped up to take the shot, confidently beating Jacobs to the left side to give ETSU a two-goal cushion.
It proved to be crucial as WCU scored with 11 minutes to play, but that was the last time a goal went through and ETSU walked away with its fifth victory of the season.
ETSU closes out the home stand on Sunday when it hosts Winthrop at 1 p.m.
For more information on ETSU women’s soccer please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s soccer links.