GREENSBORO, N.C. - UNCG women's soccer tallied its fifth straight win on Sunday afternoon, defeating visiting Mercer by a final score of 2-0. Sophomore Gracie Timbario and senior Grace Regal accounted for the Spartans' two finishes on the day, with their team moving to 2-0 at the start of Southern Conference play.
"It might have been a combination of depth on the bench and that there wasn't a great flow to the game because of the mandatory water breaks, but we were prepared for them," said Head Coach Michael Coll, in regards to his team's shutout victory. "I thought Mercer was the better team in the first half. We knew that they were a very good side...so we knew we had to weather storms for long periods. It was just stepping up to the plate and matching their intensity, and their fight, and thankfully we did it."
The Bears and Spartans got off to a slow start offensively, with the two sides feeling one another out in the opening minutes. Both clubs recorded just a single attempt at net in the first 15, before UNCG's Jordin Mosley created her team's first scoring opportunity off a shot from 25 yards out in the 22nd. Isabelle Blomdahl came within inches of scoring her team's go ahead goal just four minutes later on a cross from Timbario, while Ashley Avelino nearly netted her first of the season on a corner in the 36th. Both of the Spartans' scoring chances were turned away by the Mercer keeper however, as the pair took a scoreless draw into the break.
Timbario opened the afternoon's scoring 15 minutes into the second, making a run from 10 yards inside the attacking half of the field before putting away the first of her career. The defender beat a pair of Mercer players before finishing a shot from just inside the 18 in the bottom left corner, giving the Spartans a one-goal advantage with roughly 30 minutes left on the clock.
"It was a very good goal," said Coll. "I said to her after the game that she'll probably remember that goal for the rest of her life. I know that, because as an outside back myself... I think I scored one goal like that when I was that age and I'll never forget it..."
Regal picked up her second tally of the season 10 minutes later, as the striker pressured Mercer's possession back in their own defensive third. The senior stripped the Bears of the ball just above the penalty spot, before tucking her finish just underneath the diving Mercer keeper for a 2-0 lead.
The field continued to tilt in the Spartans' direction, as the side reeled off seven shots in the proceeding 14 minutes. The Bears continued their efforts to cut into the home team's lead, but a save from freshman Abby Bucholz helped secure the first-year's second clean sheet of the season, and preserve a 2-0 win for Coach Coll's side.
Three Things To Know
-- The Spartans pulled the trigger 22 times against Mercer for 15 shots on target, in comparison to just five shots steered on frame by the Bears
-- Opening up her 2019 scoring account against Mercer, Timbario is the 13th Spartan to hit the back of the net this year, and the third UNCG defender to do so
-- The Spartans have outscored teams 17-5 on their current five-match winning streak, collecting three shutouts in the process
COMING UP NEXT
The Spartans will play nothing but Friday and Sunday contests throughout the remainder of the regular season, traveling to Furman and Wofford this next weekend. UNCG is currently on a two-match winning streak against the Paladins, and has never lost a match to the Terriers over 26 total meetings.
-- UNCG –