SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Kennesaw State women’s soccer team capped off its 2011 season in style as it put out a dominating performance in a 4-1 win over USC Upstate on a warm, Sunday afternoon at County University Soccer Stadium.
The game was the final match of the 2011 season for both teams as the win ends the Owls season with a record of 7-8-2 (3-5-1 A-Sun), while the loss drops the Spartans to 2-16-1 (0-9-0 A-Sun) to end their 2011 campaign.
The Owls, who were sporting their throwback 2005 gold uniforms, didn’t waste much time taking the early momentum as redshirt-freshman Jewelia Strickland opened up the scoring in the 12th minute. The Fayetteville, Ga. native sent the ball in off a free kick from about 35 yards out. The ball snuck its way past at least five different players, including USC Upstate goalkeeper Sarah Plantz, and bounced into the back of the net on the far post to give the Black and Gold a 1-0 lead. The goal was Strickland’s second of the season and second of her career.
KSU controlled play for the entire half displaying a good mix of patience in the midfield and aggressive play up front to outshoot USC Upstate 12-1, and take a 1-0 lead into halftime.
Kennesaw State continued its constant pressure into the second half, and it nearly led to its second goal of the match in the 59th minute. Redshirt-freshman Katrina Frost had her shot hit the crossbar from the top of the box to keep the score 1-0.
The Owls made it a 2-0 game in the 65th minute as Frost dribbled the ball down the right side and crossed it into the box to senior Shelby Cosby who deflected it in from six yards out just inside the near post.
Frost was on the receiving end of another KSU goal just over two minutes later. Strickland sent another excellent ball in off a free kick to the far post that Frost headed past Plantz to extend the Black and Gold’s lead to 3-0.
Frost finished her first season as an Owl with 11 goals and 24 points. Those are the most goals and points by an individual KSU player since Rachel Baer had 11 goals and 27 points in 2008. The Fayetteville, Ga. native also finished the season with a share of the A-Sun goal scoring title with ETSU's Genna Petersen.
Senior Alyssa Mahan wrapped up the Black and Gold’s scoring in the 80th minute as a pair of seniors teamed up for KSU’s final goal on the season. Cosby dribbled the ball into the box and drew in the USC Upstate goalkeeper. At the last second Cosby passed it off to a streaking Mahan who finished for the 11th time in her career from three yards out.
USC Upstate scored its lone goal of the match in the 87th minute with Kayli Moore beating Emily Cox who came in for Melissa Hutto in the 71st minute.
“The girls controlled the game, generated a lot of chances and put them away in the second half,” head coach Rob King said. “It was a fitting way to close out the season today.”
For the game, Kennesaw State outshot USC Upstate, 30-3. The 30 shots was a season-high for the Black and Gold, while Hutto made her 100th career save in the win. Cosby, Frost and Strickland all finished with three-point games in the winning effort.
For seniors Shelby Cosby, Alyssa Mahan, Kristin Marietta, Lauren Ruffini, Katie Schwartz, Katie Scott and Brittany Vining the contest was the final match of their excellent careers. The 2012 senior class combined for 37 overall wins and five all-conference selections in its four years at KSU, and they were also all part of the 2009 Atlantic Sun Championship team.