Charleston, S.C. – Sarah Katchen, Nicole Levermann and Ruth Leiva scored goals, but UNCG survived a wild shootout to emerge with a 5-3 victory over The Citadel in a Southern Conference women's soccer contest Sunday at WLI Field.
All three goal scorers for the Bulldogs (3-6-2, 1-3 SoCon) were honored before the game as part of the team's Senior Day activities. The trio was joined in the pregame ceremony by Jill Meyer and Mariana Garcia, who was unable to play due to an injury.
The Spartans (7-4-1, 2-0-1) scored twice a span of three minutes, 21 seconds after The Citadel battled back from a 2-0 deficit to even the game. Leiva got the Bulldogs back within one at the 75:00 mark before UNCG was finally able to secure the victory.
The teams combined for seven goals in the second half after the Spartans took a 1-0 lead into intermission. UNCG had allowed a total of only seven goals through its first 11 games of the season and no more than two in any contest.
Chesney White scored her fourth and fifth goals of the season with the second coming just under two minutes into the second half to give the defending SoCon regular season champions a 2-0 advantage.
But the Bulldogs battled back. Katchen, who was a goalie her first two
Raedle added her second assist of the game and team-leading fifth of her freshman season 12 minutes later, hitting Levermann who rifled a shot from 25 yards out into the top of the goal to tie the game. Levermann's goal was her first of the season and 13th of her career, the seventh most in
Levermann was also a defensive star in the first half, keeping the game scoreless when she raced to the goal to prevent a shot by White to sneak into the net. The Citadel also had a solid first half scoring opportunity, but a shot by Ana Mesa clanged off the crossbar and Grace Raines followed with a shot that went high in the 17th minute.
UNCG retook the lead when Georgia Brown raced through the Bulldog defense and beat Naomi Carter at the 70:20 mark, and three minutes later a goal by Rebecca Burrows gave the Spartans a seemingly safe 4-2 lead.
But the shootout tilted The Citadel's way with 15 minutes left when Kim Maldonado sent in a cross, it went off the head of Karina Schneider and onto the foot of Leiva, whose goal was her third of the season and eighth of her career to make it a one-goal game again.
Candice Forbes added the final insurance goal for UNCG with seven minutes left.
"It was a special weekend for our seniors. They have given so much to the program," said Bulldog head coach Bob Winch. "We still have a lot of soccer left, and I expect them to lead us."
UNCG finished with a 20-17 advantage in shots. Carter made five saves for the Bulldogs while Jamie Simmons had six saves for the Spartans.
The Citadel is back in action Thursday night at Davidson and returns to WLI Field to take on Georgia Southern Sunday at 2 p.m.