GREENSBORO, N.C. - UNCG women's soccer secured their fourth victory in Southern Conference play this Friday, defeating visiting VMI by a final score of 2-0. The Spartans' victory keeps them within half a match of the top spot of the conference standings, trailing just Furman and Samford for the number one seed in this year's SoCon Championship tournament. Defender Kayla Campbell's fourth goal of the season went down as the game-winner against the Keydets, while Nicole Souply's late insurance marker goes down as her third of 2019.
"Delighted to get the win, and the shutout, which is great for our defense and goalkeeper," said Head Coach Michael Coll after the match. "VMI played well... it was a tough win, thankfully we got it and kept the clean sheet."
Despite producing six corner opportunities and outshooting the Keydets 6-2 in the opening 45, the Spartans were forced to take a scoreless draw into the break on Friday night. Cienna Rideout and Rachel Rouse had the biggest scoring chances of the opening term, with the former contributing a pair of shots at net in the early stages.
Receiving a pass from Maddy Gilhool, Rideout faced a one-on-one opportunity with the VMI keeper in the 13th minute, however the sprinting forward's first touch was just a hair too hard and was swallowed up by the visiting goaltender. Rouse's lone shot of the night came within seconds of her first appearance on the pitch, but her volley in the 28th sailed high of the crossbar.
With the score still knotted at 0-0, the Spartans continued to control the pace of play in the final half, with Rideout delivering what appeared to be the go ahead goal in the final 30 minutes. The forward's strike into the side netting was called back for an offsides however, leaving the door open for Kayla Campbell to finish the game-winner in the 70th.
"[Kayla Campbell]'s doing great," said Coll. "She is a real force on corner kicks, something other teams have to be very wary of, and defensively she's a soldier..."
Taking their eighth corner of the match, starting midfielder Isabelle Blomdahl aimed a high-hanging cross into the six-yard box, which Campbell finished off with a header into the bottom right corner. The sophomore's tally was her fourth of the season already, as she leads all SoCon defenders on the year.
Coach Coll's side would not settle for a one-goal win however, with Nicole Souply gathering the insurance marker in the final minute of the Friday night match. With VMI pushing forward offensively, the sophomore striker engineered a counter attack in the waning minutes, delivering a shot inside the 18 that was pushed aside by the Keydet keeper. The resulting rebound fell straight to the feet of Caroline Fiorella however, whose deflected touch came back to the wide open Souply, who put away her third of the year to secure the 2-0 victory for the hosting Spartans.
Three Things To Know
-- The Spartans' shutout victory was their fifth of the year and their third in conference play, they've delivered a goals against average of .80 against SoCon opponents this season
-- All four of Kayla Campbell's goals have come off of set pieces, her eight points trail only Gabi Santora (10) and Rideout (10) for a team lead
-- Starting freshman goalkeeper Abby Buchholz delivered a five-save clean sheet, her fourth of the year
COMING UP NEXT
With just a single match on slate this week, the Spartans' next contest will take place at Samford next Friday night, before playing at Chattanooga on Sunday. UNCG's two road matchups will be its last away from Greensboro this regular season, hosting their final two scheduled matches against Western Carolina and ETSU at home on the 25th and 27th.
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