Western moves into 2nd place

Homecoming 2006 was a very successful time for Western as they pulled out two victories and moved into a tie with Furman for second place in the Southern Conference. The Catamounts improved to 9-5-2 on the season and 5-1-1 in the Conference. Western needed a strong second half to pull out a 2-1 victory over the College of Charleston Cougars (5-6-2, 4-1-1 SoCon) in front of 1,189 fans at the Catamount Athletic Complex. The crowd was the largest in the Complex’s two-year history. After a scoreless tie at halftime, Western raced out of the gates in the second half and lit up the scoreboard just 51 seconds into the half as Shanna Schmoker took a free kick from freshman Jenny Mattison and went top shelf into the goal for the 1-0 lead. Western gained a two-goal advantage as Lauren Atkinson scored her third goal of the season on a rebound shot as freshman Nikki Collins was accredited with the assist. In the 57th minute, the Lady Cougars cut the lead in half as senior Caroline Wertis would head a free kick from freshman Alanna Jordan past Western goalkeeper Kelly Gulledge. Western’s defense turned up the pressure the rest of the game and tried to mount an attack for an insurance goal, but it never happened as Western pulled out the 2-1 victory. Western dominated the shots all night 21-to-4, including a 14-to-3 edge in the second half. Reigning Conference player of the week, freshman Shannon Fowkes led the way with six shots; Atkinson added four shots as well. Gulledge stopped three shots for her fourth win of the season. Her counterpart, Erin Smith had six saves while she endured her fourth loss of the season. It took Western Carolina 103 minutes to score a goal, but it was a goal that meant the difference between a win and a tie as they pulled out the 1-0 victory of the Chattanooga Lady Mocs in front of 174 fans at the North River Soccer Complex in Chattanooga, Tenn. The win runs their unbeaten streak to five (4-0-1). The Lady Mocs fall to 3-9-1 on the year and 0-6-0 in the Southern Conference. The tempo of the first 45 minutes was like a see-saw with Western controlling the offensive pace, but was unable to muster any goals; the Lady Cats had a 14-4 advantage in the shot column but it was a scoreless tie at halftime. The Lady Mocs had a golden opportunity as Chelsea Hurst was on a breakaway to an almost empty net but her shot was wide as the game remained tied, 0-0. Within the next few minutes Western’s opportunity aroused as they would control the second half offensively like they did the first half, but still were unable to score any goals as the would go to an overtime period, tied at 0. After a scoreless first overtime period, Western took only three minutes into the second overtime period as senior Meghan Reilly took advantage of a Lady Moc turnover, find freshman Nikki Lombardo, who blasted the ball into the left corner of the net for the goal and the victory, 1-0. Western out-shot Chattanooga 31-to-12 including putting 14 shots in the both the first and second half. Western held a 6-to-1 advantage in corner kicks. WCU freshman goalkeeper Kelly Gulledge made five stops to earn her third shut-out of the season. Chattanooga net minder Stacey Mattison had 13 saves on the game and only giving up the single goal but suffered the loss.