GREENSBORO, N.C. – Cienna Rideout (Las Vegas, Nev./Coronado) and Melanie Spensiero (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) each found the back of the net in the quarterfinal matchup of the Southern Conference Tournament Saturday night against the Chattanooga Mocs. UNCG advances to the semifinals this upcoming Friday night in Birmingham, Ala., at the Samford Track and Soccer Stadium. The Spartans improve to 9-7-3 with the victory. Chattanooga ends its 2017 season 5-10-4 and is eliminated from the tournament.
The Spartans got 15 shots off against the Chattanooga defense, led by Rideout and Emily Jensen (Nelson, New Zealand/Santa Clara) who each tallied four. Aiyanah Tyler-Cooper played the full 90 minutes in goal, earning two saves as the Spartan defense allowed just four shots.
UNCG had a chance early on in the first half. Rideout gathered a pass in front of the goal, dribbled around the Chattanooga center back and took a shot, but Melia Correa came off her line and made a sliding save to deflect the shot away.
The Spartans has another opportunity in the 30th minute. After Ashton Duty (Waxhaw, N.C./Cuthbertson) played in a corner, Heida Ragney Vidarsdottir’s (Akureyri, Iceland/Carson-Newman) header attempt was deflected away by the Moc defender. UNCG corralled the rebound and fired another shot, but it sailed right of the goal.
The Blue and Gold got on the board in the 42nd minute. Hannah Hoeksema (Auckland, New Zealand/Avondale College) played a ball in to Rideout who was able to head it to the right of the Chattanooga keeper to give the Spartans the 1-0 advantage.
Spensiero doubled the Spartan advantage in the 62nd minute. Vidarsdottir gained possession around midfield and began to attack the backline. About 25 yards out, the junior threaded a pass through the Mocs’ defense where she found the foot of Spensiero. The senior gathered the ball and ripped a shot past the keepers right side to earn her first goal of the season.
With the win, UNCG advances to face the winner of the Samford Mercer match, played in Birmingham, Ala. this evening