CULLOWHEE, N.C. – The Lipscomb women’s soccer team dropped its opening game of the season 2-0 to Western Carolina on Friday night. The biggest loss was losing two starters to probable season ending injuries.
“We had two season ending injuries in the first 15 minutes,” head coach Kevin O’Brien said. “So our girls were extremely rattled. Their minds were not as sharp as they’ve been all season.”
Senior Kelsey Reiman and freshman Niamh Rawlins were the two Lady Bisons who suffered injuries.
“Niamh was our starting left back and picked up her injury in warm ups,” O’Brien said. “Kelsey, our captain and starting central defender picked up her injury in the first 15 minutes of play. They both have suspected ACL injuries.”
In the first ever meeting between the two schools, Caitlyn Bradham scored the game-winning goal for the Catamounts in the 42nd minute. Christine Kaznowski assisted on the play.
The Catamounts netted their second goal just five minutes later as Kelly Pannell spotted Sara Robinson for the goal.
“We were ultimately thrown into a situation to play the game with a lineup we had never trained before,” O’Brien said. “I don’t want to take anything away from a strong Western Carolina team. They looked great and thoroughly deserved the result.
“I’m proud of our team for competing valiantly in the midst of some highly adverse conditions. We will regroup quickly and be ready to play Monday night.”
The Lady Bisons continue a three-game roadtrip Monday with a 4 p.m. match against Alabama A&M. A short trip to MTSU on Friday Aug. 30 precedes the home opener on Sept. 2 against UT-Martin.
“Needless to say, the team is heartbroken for Niamh and Kelsey,” O’Brien added. “We ask Bison Nation to be praying for them as they prepare for surgery and then start the long road to full recovery.”