KENNESAW, Ga. – The Kennesaw State women’s soccer team came out firing on all cylinders on Sunday afternoon as it used a three-goal first half to cruise to a 4-1 win over UAB on Heroes Appreciation Day.
The win moves the Owls back above .500 at 4-3 for the season, while the loss drops the Blazers to 2-5 on the year. The win also improves KSU to 3-0 all-time against UAB, and 4-0 against Conference USA teams.
Senior Brittany Vining opened up the scoring in the 31st minute of the match knocking home her second goal of the season. The Fayetteville, Ga. native pressured UAB goalkeeper Katie Getzinger on a long, bounding ball from redshirt-freshman Jewelia Strickland. The pressure made Getzinger mishandle it and Vining took advantage of the mistake easily putting the ball in the back of the net.
Kennesaw State extended its lead to 2-0 in the 36th minute as freshman Nicole Calder scored on a header off a corner kick. Junior Sofia Blanco sent the corner kick to the far post where Calder leapt over her defender to head the ball in for the goal.
The goal saw two KSU players record firsts as it was Calder’s first goal of her collegiate career, while the assist was the first point registered by Blanco in her collegiate career as well.
The firsts kept coming for the Black and Gold as junior Liz Blackburn scored her first goal of the season in the 42nd minute on a beautifully struck header that snuck in on the far post off a cross from Blanco.
Kennesaw State dominated the first half as it held a 13-8 advantage in shots taking a 3-0 lead into the locker room.
UAB scored its lone goal in the 68th minute as Kirsten Ebert knocked in a header off a corner kick.
Redshirt-freshman Katrina Frost put the game out of reach in the 86th minute as Calder found her all alone behind the UAB defense. Frost took the pass, took a few dribbles and blasted a shot with her right foot that the UAB goalkeeper had no chance at saving making the final score, 4-1.
Frost has now scored seven goals in her first seven games as an Owl and she also still leads all Atlantic Sun Conference players in points with 14 and goals with seven.
Junior goalkeeper Melissa Hutto improves to 4-2 on the year making seven saves in the win and she lowered her goals against average to a season-best 2.11.
“We played very positively and got UAB on their heels early in the match,” head coach Rob King said. We finished our chances and kept it tight defensively. It was an excellent team performance against a perennial C-USA power. We will look to build on this as we prepare for conference play in a couple weeks.”
The Owls will wrap up non-conference play next Sunday, September 18 as they host West Florida at 1 p.m. at KSU Soccer Stadium.