WSOC falls 3-2
Published: Sunday, October 6, 2013
Updated: Sunday, October 6, 2013 21:10
Coming into Summers-Taylor Stadium Friday night, the Lady Bucs were riding high after dismantiling USC Upstate 7-1 to start conference play.
ETSU looked to build off the momentum heading into the match against the Mercer Bears.
Both teams came out looking to control mid-field with a slight advantage going to Mercer. The Bears had a chance for the lead in the first minute, but the Lady Bucs saved the ball on a goal-line stretch by ETSU goalie Jasmine Elliot.
ETSU answered after a foul deep in Mercer territory, but the ensuing kick and header were disallowed as ETSU was flagged for being offsides. The Lady Bucs were not discouraged and, with 13:09 left in the half, freshman Molly Collinson found sophomore Sarah Zadrazil at the top of the box. Zadrazil beat the goalie to give ETSU the 1-0 lead.
Mercer tried to get back in the game and with just over seven minutes left in the half, Brianna Stampler found an open shot to beat Elliot to tie the match 1-1. The Bears continued to attack late in the half, pressing the momentum, but ETSU was able to get the final shots of the half.
Both teams came out in the second half attacking, but as the opening minutes turned into the heart-of-the-half, the game remained knotted as neither team found the right attack method. The Bears started to push the Lady Bucs on three straight corner kicks, but each attack was successfully defended, keeping the game tied.
The Bucs weathered the storm and used a quick counterattack on a long ball from sophomore Hannah Short to Zadrazil to take the lead. Zadrazil beat the defense in a foot race and sent the ball past the Mercer goalie for the 2-1 advantage. ETSU tried to add to the lead late as freshman Simona Koren found herself open in front of the net, but the shot sailed over the goal.
Mercer tied the match as Laura Gassie streaked up the field and beat Elliot one-on-one with just over 13 minutes left on the clock. With time ticking down, the Bears took their first lead as Casey Barret found the net, 3-2 with 7:47 left in the game.
ETSU was unable to overcome the late-game deficit, falling to Mercer 3-2.
“We have to put this game out of our minds as we prepare for Sunday,” said Sayers. “We will take lessons in due course but immediately put it out of our minds and focus.”