Women's Soccer Opens A-Sun Play with 2-1 Win over Kennesaw State
KENNESAW, Ga. -- The Belmont women's soccer team (4-4, 1-0 A-Sun) snapped Kennesaw State's (4-4-1, 0-1 A-Sun) three-game win streak to pick up its first Atlantic Sun victory of the 2011 campaign on Friday night. The Bruins handed the Owls their first conference home opener loss in program history. The win also marked the first time since 2005 BU defeated Kennesaw State.
The Bruins found the back of the net early to go up 1-0. Senior Jamie Loftis (Hermitage, Tenn.) chipped the ball past the KSU goalkeeper with the help of a corner kick by junior Lauren Paynter (Danville, Ky.) in the 13th minute. Encouraged by early lead, BU continued to maintain control of the contest, preventing the Owls from establishing an offensive rhythm. Stellar play on both sides of the ball helped Belmont carry the 1-0 lead into the locker room.
After the break, Kennesaw State came out much more aggressively but the Bruins remained composed and held steady. The Owls were able to head in the equalizer goal in the 59th minute but the momentum was short lived. Belmont struck again, less than a minute and a half later, this time thanks to senior Gretchen Sutch (Knoxville, Tenn.). She capitalized on a loose ball and fired a rocket past KSU goalkeeper Mel Hutto to put the Bruins back on top, 2-1, for her first goal of the season. The Owls had one final chance in the 87th minute to knot the score but BU once again stood firm and halted the attempt.
"Tonight's win was a total team effort from every player who went on the field to those who didn't. Nobody quit," said Head Coach Heather Henson. "We stuck to the game plan and played as a team. It was great that two of our seniors were able to put the ball in the back of the net."
"Kennesaw State is a good team and they have very talented players. It was difficult to play at Kennesaw because they play hard and it's just a hard place to play," Henson said. "It was great to get this first conference win but now we have to refocus for Sunday. Every game in the conference is important."
Kennesaw State held the narrow advantage in shots, 11-9, and corner kicks, 5-4.
Junior Laura Harris (Macon, Ga.) led BU's offensive effort with a team-high three shots. Sophomore netminder Nicole Berner (Randolph, N.J.) went the distance between the posts, recording three saves on the night.
Belmont returns to action on Sunday afternoon, wrapping a five-game road swing. The Bruins face off against Mercer beginning at Noon. The contest will be available on ASun.TV and live stats will also be available.