GREENSBORO, N.C. – No. 10 seed UNC Greensboro women’s soccer (13-4-1) advanced to the semifinals of the Southern Conference Tournament on Grace Regal’s game-winning goal in the 82nd minute in a 3-2 victory over No. 10 seed VMI (7-9-2) Saturday afternoon at UNCG Soccer Stadium. The Spartans will face the winner of No. 3 ETSU/No. 6 Mercer, who square off Sunday at 2 p.m. in Johnson City, Tenn., next Friday at 6:30 p.m. in Macon, Ga. where the semifinals and final are being held.
“It feels good to win,” said UNCG head coach Michael Coll. “Playoff games are very tough, and VMI took the lead twice against the run of play and really tested our team’s belief and resolve. We came back two times with nice equalizing goals and won it with a bit of a fortunate cross shot. Statistically it was pretty one sided in our favor, but VMI showed us that the only one that matters is goals. At this stage of the college season it was vital for the players to show that they can overcome major adversity because they will likely have the same challenges as we keep playing in the next rounds. I’m proud that they wouldn’t be beaten today.”
Cienna Rideout created the game-winner for Regal. After getting by a defender with the ball, Rideout crossed the ball from the left corner of the box to Regal, who deflected it in to the right corner of the net from a few yards out.
VMI twice took the lead, but UNCG responded each time. VMI’s Whitney Edwards-Roberson scored both goals for the Keydets. Her first came in the 28th minute off a loose ball that she was able to chip in from a few yards out. In the 59th minute, she took advantage of another loose ball that teammate Onika Hammond deflected over following a corner kick by Blake Cashin.
Emily Jensen tied the game up the first time in the 45th minute. She headed in a ball off a corner kick from Ashton Duty with 17 seconds left in the first half.
Nicole Souply had the other game-tying goal in the 68th minute. Once again Rideout made a few moves to get by a defender to send in a cross into the box from the corner, and Souply was able to kick it past a diving goalkeeper.
UNCG had the edge in almost every category: shots (22-5), shots on goal (9-3) and corner kicks (11-2).
UNCG goalkeeper Aiyanah Tyler-Cooper (12-4-1) made one save.
Kaley Tucker had a game-high six shots, including three on goal. Rideout finished with five shots.
-- UNCG –