Elon tops UNCG 1-0; Spartans earn No. 2 seed for SoCon tourney

UNCGSpartans.com 10-25-2011
Courtesy: UNCGSpartans.com

For video of coach Steve Nugent's postgame comments, click here.

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Elon's Jaclyn Wood converted a penalty kick in the 14th minute as the Phoenix spoiled UNCG's Senior Day with a 1-0 win Wednesday at the UNCG Soccer Stadium. Despite the loss, UNCG will be the second seed and host a first-round game in the upcoming Southern Conference tournament.

Prior to the contest, UNCG (8-9-1, 7-3-1 SoCon) honored seniors Nicole Danford, Jaimey Etten, Casey Godwin, Kelsey Kearney, Alex Perry and Kristin Player.

Elon (8-7-4, 6-3-2 SoCon) got the only goal it would need at the 13:47 mark after Perry upended the Phoenix's Chelsey Stark inside the 18-yard box. Wood stepped up and drilled the penalty kick into the lower left corner for what would prove to be the game-winner.

For Perry, it was the second penalty kick she had faced in as many games. She also drew the assignment in Sunday's loss to Appalachian State after Kearney was red-carded for a takedown in the box.

"I'd be lying if I didn't say we were disappointed," UNCG coach Steve Nugent said. "We came out here with a good game plan. I've got to give a lot of credit to (Elon coach) Chris (Neal) and the Elon girls. They really tried to imprint their style on us. They made it very difficult for us to play. It's on me. I've got to figure out a way to coach our players to handle this kind of pressure. We'll get back at it in training this Friday."

Neither side could get much going offensively on the evening, with shots even at five apiece.

UNCG's Kaytee O'Brien put the ball in the back of the net in the 39th minute, but the goal was waved off when UNCG was flagged offside.

One of UNCG's strongest chances to score came early in the second frame, when Etten unleashed a rocket from about 25 yards out. Elon keeper Kate Murphy made a diving stop to keep the shutout intact, and the Spartans were unable to get off a shot on the ensuing corner kick.

UNCG's last great scoring opportunity came in the 72nd minute, when Godwin found Karin Sendel with a long cross from the right wing. The ball hit Sendel in stride and the junior midfielder one-timed it on frame, but Murphy was there to make the stop. 

Murphy had three saves on the evening.

Perry, making just her third career start, had a pair of stops on evening. Her first came in the ninth minute on Shannon Foley's header off an Elon corner, while she also stopped a Raychel Diver attempt in the 52nd minute. 

The win was Elon's first over UNCG in a series that dates to 1988. The Spartans had been 16-0-0 against the Phoenix.

With College of Charleston losing at The Citadel earlier Wednesday, UNCG was assured of the second seed in the SoCon tournament regardless of its result against Elon.

The Spartans will host seventh-seeded Georgia Southern at 2 p.m. Sunday at the UNCG Soccer Stadium.

Elon 1, UNCG 0

 Goals by period       1  2  Tot
 Elon................  1  0 -  1
 UNCG................  0  0 -  0

  1.  13:47 ELON Jaclyn Wood (3) Penalty kick

Shots: Elon 5, UNCG 5; Saves: Elon 3 (Kate Murphy 3), UNCG 2 (Alex Perry 2); Corner kicks: Elon 4, UNCG 4; Fouls: Elon 3, UNCG 9.

- UNCG -

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