Spartans return home to host Wofford, Furman this weekend
UNCG vs. Wofford, Oct. 14, 7 p.m., UNCG Soccer Stadium
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UNCG vs. Furman, Oct. 16, 2 p.m., UNCG Soccer Stadium
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- After going 4-0 on a two-week, four-game road swing, UNCG's women's soccer team returns home this weekend to host Wofford on Friday and Furman on Sunday as it tries to remain atop the Southern Conference standings.
- Prior to Friday's match, there will be free laser tag between the soccer and softball fields. The event is being sponsored by UNCG Weekend.
- UNCG topped Georgia Southern, Davidson, The Citadel and College of Charleston in the last two weeks to move to 5-1 in the SoCon and 6-7 overall.
- The Spartans jumped 41 spots in the RPI because of last week's two wins, moving to 67th, the top mark in the SoCon. Samford is second, checking in at No. 100.
- The Spartans picked up dramatic wins at The Citadel and CofC, with Kristin Player scoring the game-winning goals of both matches in the final seven minutes. Against the Bulldogs on Oct. 7, the teams were tied at 2 until Player's strike in the 84th minute put UNCG on top. Exactly a minute later, she assisted on an Ashley Stokes goal to give the Spartans a 4-2 win. Kaytee O'Brien and Stephanie Partenheimer also scored for UNCG, which rallied from a pair of deficits in the game. Two days later at CofC, Player scored both goals in UNCG's 2-1 win. After the Cougars tied the match in the 84th minute, Player rescued the Spartans with an 88th-minute score for the win.
- Player's big week has produced several awards for the redshirt senior forward. On Monday, she was named to CollegeSoccer360.com's Primetime Performers Honor Roll. On Tuesday, she was named the SoCon Player of the Week and on Wednesday, she was tabbed the Disney Soccer/NSCAA National Player of the Week.
- After facing a nonconference slate that included four Atlantic Coast Conference teams, two Southeastern Conference teams and four ranked squads, UNCG is finally settling into SoCon play. Since 2003, the Spartans are 78-9-4 in league action.
- Entering the weekend, Player has 20 points on seven goals and a SoCon-best six assists, all team highs. Karin Sendel is second in scoring with eight points on two goals and four assists, while Ashlee Wilhelmsen and Lauren Hein are tied for third with six points on two goals and two assists each. Keeper Kelsey Kearney has logged 1,125 minutes in the net for the Spartans thus far, turning in a 2.08 goals against average.
- Player enters play this weekend as the SoCon's active career leader in points (83), goals (31) and assists (21) and is in the top 10 in school history in all three categories. With 18 points on seven goals and four assists in SoCon games, Player leads the league in scoring in conference games.
- Player has scored the game-winning goal in three straight contests. She has four game-winners overall this season.
- Kearney, a three-time All-SoCon selection (first team, 2008 and 2010), is UNCG's career leader in goals against average, as she has posted a 0.87 mark – good for third place in SoCon history. Now up to 32 career shutouts, she needs five more to become the SoCon's career leader in that category. She is the SoCon's active career leader with 51 wins.
- UNCG is 18-0 all-time against the Terriers in a series that began in 1997. The Spartans have outscored Wofford 48-4 in the series, posting 15 straight shutouts dating back to 1998. Since Wofford's last goal against UNCG, the Terriers have gone 1,374 minutes, 29 seconds in the series without finding the back of the net. The teams met twice last season, with UNCG winning 3-0 in the regular season and 1-0 in the first round of the SoCon tournament. The Spartans are 8-0 against the Terriers in Greensboro.
- In last season's first meeting, on Oct. 15, Hein, Jaimey Etten and Jenn Partenheimer scored in the first 11 minutes and Kelsey Kearney made two saves as she set a new school record with her 26th career shutout. In the first round of the SoCon tournament on Oct. 31, Kristen Schmidbauer scored in the ninth minute for the only goal UNCG would need.
- Wofford got off to a 7-0 start this season, matching the best start in school history after going 6-0 in nonconference play and winning its first league match. Since then, however, the Terriers are just 1-4, snapping a four-match losing streak with a double-overtime win over Chattanooga on Oct. 9. Overall, Wofford is 8-4 with a 2-4 SoCon mark.
- Three of Wofford's last four games have gone to double overtime, with Western Carolina and Appalachian State finding golden goals on their home fields before the Terriers finally got one of their own against the Mocs. Senior Anne Phillips had the honors in that contest, scoring in the 107th minute to give Wofford the win. Phillips had a pair of goals in the contest, while Emily Bougas scored in the third minute of 3-2 win.
- Wofford boasts the SoCon's second-leading scorer in Bougas, who has 25 points on 11 goals and three assists. She is second in the league in both points and goals. Phillips is second on the squad with 12 points on three goals and six assists, sharing the league lead in helpers with UNCG's Player and Chattanooga's Donna-Kay Henry. Wofford keeper Erika Christensen has turned in a 0.99 GAA – third-best in the SoCon – with three shutouts in 11 matches.
- The Spartans are 13-9-1 against Furman all-time in a series that began in 1997. UNCG has won six of the last eight meetings, going 6-1-1 against the Paladins over that time. Furman's nine wins are the most by a SoCon opponent against UNCG and the third-most by any UNCG opponent, trailing only Duke (13), North Carolina (12) and Wake Forest (12).
- UNCG took a 4-1 win over the Paladins on Oct. 17 of last season, with Tabitha Padgett scoring twice and Cat Barnekow and Kristen Schmidbauer adding a goal and an assist each. Martha Hall scored Furman's lone goal in the third minute of play.
- The Paladins, who play at Elon on Friday, enter the weekend with an 8-6-1 overall mark and a 3-2-1 SoCon record. After opening league play with wins over Davidson and Georgia Southern, Furman has gone 1-2-1 since, with a tie against Appalachian State, a win over Chattanooga and losses to Western Carolina and Samford. Furman's last four contests have gone to overtime, with three of them going to double OT.
- Rachel Shelnutt had a pair of goals in the 4-3 win over the Mocs on Oct. 6, including the game-winner in the 93rd minute. Dee Makris and Ali Simpson also scored for the Paladins. Three days later against Samford, Furman found itself on the wrong side of the golden goal for the second time in three matches when the Bulldogs scored in the 105th minute. Shelnutt had Furman's lone goal in the 2-1 loss.
- September's SoCon Player of the Month, Shelnutt leads Furman in scoring with 20 points (tied for third in the SoCon with UNCG's Player) on nine goals (third in the SoCon) and two assists. Hannah Stanifer is second on the team with eight points on four goals, while India Robinson leads the team and is fourth in the league with five assists.
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