CULLOWHEE, N.C. – UNCG (11-2-1, 6-0-0) shut out Western Carolina (5-7-2, 2-4-0) 2-0 Friday night at Catamount Athletic Complex. Quiqui Hita and Caroline Fiorella scored the two goals for the Spartans.
UNCG is off to a perfect 6-0-0 start in Southern Conference for the fifth time and first since the 2010 season. The Spartans have earned a bye for the first round of the SoCon Tournament and need just two more points to earn a top-four seed to host a quarterfinal matchup. The semifinals and final of the conference tournament will be hosted by Mercer.
Hita recorded the game-winning goal in the 10th minute. After receiving a pass from Cienna Rideout, Hita dribbled the ball and placed a shot past the goalkeeper into the middle of the net.
“It was a good team performance on the road tonight,” said head coach Michael Coll. “We scored a very nice first goal by Quiqui after a decisive through ball from Cienna, and that lead allowed us to create the majority of dangerous attacks in the first half. Overall, we controlled the game with good possession and quick ball movement in most areas of the field.”
Fiorella provided the insurance goal in the 76th minute when she bounced a shot off the crossbar and into the net. UNCG put pressure on Western Carolina early in the second half, and in its sixth and final shot of the half resulted in the goal.
“Caroline’s goal sealed the game, and she showed that she can be relied on to get goals with good service into the penalty area,” said Coll. “Winning road games is difficult, but the team came ready to play tonight and it was as good a performance as we’ve had all season.”
Aiyanah Tyler-Cooper (11-2-1) made six saves to record UNCG’s seventh shutout of the year. Three of the saves came after the Spartan’s second goal to ensure the shutout, including two in the final five minutes.
The Spartans finished with a slight edge in shots (13-11) and a more sizable advantage in shots on goal (10-6) and corner kicks (8-2).
Rideout had a team-high three shots and was joined by Heida Ragney Vidarsdottir and Nicole Souply with two shots on goal.
UNCG goes on the road next weekend home to face Western Carolina Friday at 7 p.m.
-- UNCG –