ETSU sets program record with sixth-consecutive win
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (October 9, 2011) – Three second half goals made the difference on Sunday afternoon at Summers-Taylor Stadium, as the ETSU women’s soccer team surged over conference rival Jacksonville, 3-0, to set a program record with its sixth-consecutive victory and, more importantly, move the Lady Bucs to 5-0-0 in Atlantic Sun play.
“We scored three very good goals today,” said head coach Adam Sayers. “There were some fantastic individual performances, but most of all our collective effort today was first class.
“We’ve had a very good start to conference play and we’re thrilled with that, but we’re still in the process of taking it one game at a time. There are still a lot of points to play for, and we’re going to be preparing and battling as much as we can for every point that is available.”
Senior midfielder Genna Petersen (Loveland, Ohio) got the Lady Bucs (10-3-0, 5-0-0 A-Sun) on the board first, scoring her eighth goal of the year before adding her ninth score less than four minutes later. Junior Morgan Thomas (Maryville, Tenn.) padded ETSU’s lead with under 10 minutes to play, as senior goalkeeper Caitlin Gaughan (Indianapolis, Ind.) held JU (8-5-2. 4-1-1 A-Sun) off the scoreboard for her fifth shutout out the season.
ETSU and JU both came into Sunday’s match unbeaten in conference play, but it was the Lady Bucs who pulled away down the stretch. Petersen’s team-high four shots, all on goal, led to two goals as ETSU outshot JU 7-5 through the second frame. The Lady Bucs have now outscored the opposition 19-2 through the second half this season.
The match started to a blistering pace when freshman Jenna Caudle (Middletown, Md.) broke free down the middle of the field just two minutes after the first whistle. The freshman took JU’s Sarah Sierra one-on-one towards the far right post, but Siera’s pressure forced Caudle’s shot right of goal to the relief of the JU sideline.
The Lady Bucs got off two more chances, one by Thomas and another by sophomore Samantha Kron (Paradise Valley, Ariz.), through the first 45 minutes, but Sierra met both challenges. Gaughan faced a plethora of shots in the first frame, making three saves off JU’s 10 shots. The senior keeper finished with five saves off 14 shots faced.
Halftime came with ETSU and JU in a scoreless draw. The Dolphins led the Lady Bucs 10-3 in shots, but most of the JU shots were from a distance and of no threat. Each side had three shots on goal.
The second half opened with Petersen letting off two shots in the first seven minutes which were both saved by Sierra.
A clock stoppage came at the 63:30 mark when JU’s Emily Culbreth was issued a yellow card, and Kron lined up for the free kick on the Dolphins’ side of the field. The set piece went in towards goal as Sierra came off her line to punch the ball away, but the clear attempt found Petersen and the senior shot at a nearly vacated net for the Lady Bucs’ first goal of the match.
Four minutes later, Petersen struck again. Thomas took the ball up the far left side of the field, found the team’s leading goal scorer in the box and the senior finished with goal over Sierra’s head to put ETSU up two goals with less than 25 minutes to play.
Leading by the same score in the 81st minute, Thomas got an opportunity for a goal of her own and added a little insurance to the Lady Bucs’ advantage. Gaughan collected a JU scoring threat and sent a drop kick up the pitch. Thomas won the ball, found herself on a breakaway towards Sierra and blasted the chance through.
It was more than enough to put away JU, as the Lady Bucs won their 10th game in their last 11 matches.
Next weekend the ETSU women’s soccer team will head for Florida, making stops in Deland and Ft. Myers to take on Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast. Friday’s match against Stetson begins at 7 p.m., while Sunday's contest against FGCU starts at 1 p.m.
For more information on ETSU women’s soccer please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s soccer links. Fans can also follow the Lady Bucs on Facebook at ETSU Buccaneer Women's Soccer.