Weekend Tournament Ends with Catamounts 2-4 on the Season
By Kaitlyn Mullis
The Western Carolina women’s soccer team traveled out to New Haven, Connecticut for the Yale Soccer Classic on Sep 12, taking one of the two matches.
The team faltered in the first game, suffering a 3-1 loss to the Yale Bulldogs after the opposing team scored all of their goals in the first half.
A little over ten minutes into the game, Yale senior and team captain Emma Whitfield scored the first goal of the match, also her first on the season, after receiving a cross from fellow teammates Maggie Westfal and Becky Brown.
The Bulldogs followed the first goal with another nine minutes later, with Brown, a sophomore, receiving a pass from Whitfield and making a goal, allowing the score to be 2-0. Yale struck again less than ninety seconds later. Catamount keeper Katie Jacobs made the initial save before Brown followed up with a rebound shot which made it in.
Two minutes into the second half of the game, junior forward Nikki Collins made a play down the right side of the field, cut to the middle, and scored past Yale goalkeeper Adelaide Gay after receiving a pass from junior Nikki Lombardo. The score remained the same for the remainder of the game, putting the Catamounts at a record of 1-4 and setting them up for a match against Sacred Heart University on Sunday, Sept. 14.
Western took command of the game early with a goal scored by freshman Kayla Beauduy after she received a pass from sophomore Kellie Oberholtzer and shot the ball into the right corner of the net. It was Beauduy’s first collegiate goal. A half hour later, Lombardo took a cross from junior Bri Cunningham to improve the score to 2-0.
The first half ended with the Catamounts earning a 6-to-4 shot advantage, with Sacred Heart having two opportunities to put themselves on the board. Sophomore goalkeeper Caitlin Williams held the defense with two saves.
The Sacred Heart Pioneers scored a goal ten minutes into the second half with a twenty-five-yard shot from senior midfielder Britney Dupee. Playing with a defensive mentality, Western held the Pioneers to only three more shot opportunities in the half, and finished with an 11-to-7 shot advantage.
The final score was 3-1, with the Catamounts improving to 2-4 on the season, while Sacred Heart dropped to 0-6.
The Yale Soccer Classic came after two dramatic season opening games for the Catamounts. In the first game of the season, the women’s soccer team battled Butler on Sept. 5 in double overtime, beating them 1-0 with a goal scored by junior Shannon Fowkes. The goal came about halfway through the second overtime.
The next game on Sept. 7 against Belmont University produced just as much thrill as the first, going into double overtime for the second day of the weekend. The result unfortunately did not produce another win though for the Lady Catamounts. The score was 2-1 by the end of the game, with Western’s sole goal being shot from Fowkes.
“We have been incorporating to the team to play the 90 full minutes and today I thought we did a tremendous job in the first half,” said head coach Tammy DeCesare. “But in the second half we gave a good team too many opportunities.”
The Catamounts begin play in the Southern Conference tomorrow, Sept. 26 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. They will play the College of Charleston, also a conference opponet, on Sept. 28.