Catamounts are shut-out in first week of play

Between a trip to the Raleigh-Durham area and their first home match of the season, the Western Carolina Lady Catamounts were unable to score any goals and as a result, started the season 0-3.In their first game of the year, Western dropped the match to the North Carolina State Lady Wolfpack, 2-0 in front of 227 fans at Method Research Road Soccer Stadium in Raleigh.The Lady Cats were only able to muster one shot on goal in the first half, by junior Heather Dittmer. NC State only managed 2 shots on goal and both teams went into the locker room in a 0-0 tie. Western Carolina had a little more luck getting shots on goal in the second half with 5 shots, but none of them reached the back of the net as NC State had 6 shots on goal and scored twice to shut-out the Lady Cats, 2-0. The Lady Wolfpack won the battle of shots, 8-6, including 2-1 in the firstt half. All Southern Conference Preseason Pick, Alesha Row, made two saves in the game, but allowed two goals in the loss.Two days later, the Lady Catamounts went down the road to 12th-ranked Duke University, but the change in venue ended with the same result, a loss. The Lady Blue Devils used an early first half goal to defeat Western 1-0 and hand them their 2nd loss of the season in front of 350 fans at Koskinen Stadium in Durham.Duke scored at the 22:17 mark of the first to take a 1-0 advantage. Western did not go quietly though as they turned up the offensive pressure despite not getting a shot on goal until the early part of the second half by junior Lauren Atkinson, but her kick sailed wide right. The only other shot of the match came courtesy of redshirt freshman Rachael Shomper, but was stopped by the Blue Devils goalkeeper, Allison Lipsher.Western was heavily out shot in the match 24-2 with senior goalkeeper Alesha Row making 10 saves, despite giving up just the one goal and suffering her second defeat of the season. The Lady Cats fell to 0-2 on this young season.In a rainy and overcast home opener, the Lady Catamounts felt the effects of playing on a wet surface and it showed in a 2-0 loss to their cross-state opponents, the East Carolina Lady Pirates, in front of 402 soaking wet fans at the Catamount Athletic Complex. The loss gave the Lady Cats their third straight loss on the year; East Carolina goes to 2-1-0 this season.East Carolina took an advantage of a quick substitution to score the first goal of the match as Western’s defense attempted to hold down East on a breakaway as goalkeeper Alesha Row went for the save, but the wet grass caused the ball to slow down and East Carolina knock the ball in for the first goal of the match and a 1-0 advantage.The second half saw Western almost score a goal as Heather Dittmer fired a shot from 13 yards out and over the goalkeepers’ head, but it clanked the top of the crossbar and went out of bounds. Junior Leah Daino took advantage of a free kick from 20 yards out in the 61st minute that went into the goal, but it was called back due to an off-sides call. The Lady Pirates then added an insurance goal at the 83:28 mark in the second half.Despite out-shooting the Lady Pirates 9-5, the Lady Cats could not muster a goal. Juniors Melissa Berry and Bailey Culp lead the way with two shots apiece. Goalkeeper Alesha Row stopped three shots in her third defeat of the year.