Samford knocks off UNC Greensboro, 2-1 on Friday
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Samford scored just 42 seconds into the second half to break a 1-all tie, and the Bulldogs made the lead stand, snapping UNC Greensboro's 22-match unbeaten streak over Southern Conference opponents at UNCG Soccer Stadium with a 2-1 win on Friday.
The Spartans (9-6, 5-2 SoCon) had been 21-0-1 at home against SoCon teams – including three SoCon tournament first-round games – since a 2-1 loss to College of Charleston on Sept. 25, 2005.
With the match tied at 1 through the first 45 minutes of play, Samford (9-1-3, 4-1-2 SoCon) wrested control of the contest with a quick strike just after halftime. Paige Lanter sent a pass to Amber Cress in the midfield and Cress did the rest, making a long run and beating the UNCG defense for what would prove to be the game-winning goal at the 45:42 mark.
Freshman Tabitha Padgett got the scoring started early with her team-leading seventh goal of the season, knocking in the rebound of her own saved shot to put the Bulldogs up 1-0 in the 11th minute. Padgett took a pass from Jenn Partenheimer and put a close-range shot on frame, but Samford keeper Alyssa Whitehead made the stop. Whitehead couldn't wrap up the ball, however, and Padgett pounced on the rebound and put it away for the early advantage.
The Spartans had another solid look just moments later, but a Samford team save prevented UNCG from going up 2-0 in the 13th minute. Senior Kelly Attayek redirected a Jen Bronson attempt in front of the net off a Spartan corner kick, but Bulldog defender Theresa Henry cleared the ball on the line from the far post to keep it a one-score game.
The Bulldogs would pull even in the 21st minute, as Leah Leppert pounded home a Cress pass from 7 yards out. Natalie Fleming got the play started on the right wing, sending a ball in to Cress in the box. UNCG keeper Kelsey Kearney came out to challenge Cress, who slipped the ball over to Leppert on the left side for the easy put-away.
UNCG's best chances in the second half came in the last five minutes. With just over four minutes to go, Nicole Danford put a shot on frame that Whitehead was able to knock down, but not corral. Several Spartans were in on the ensuing scrum in the box, but no one could get a boot on the ball and the Bulldogs were able to clear it.
The Spartans had another excellent scoring opportunity in the 88th minute, but again came up empty. Danford forced another save that Whitehead couldn't contain, and Bronson got off another shot on the rebound. Her shot hit Danford, however, and Samford was able to survive UNCG's late surge.
UNCG managed just one goal despite a commanding 22-6 shot advantage on the evening, with just eight of them on frame. Samford, meanwhile, put four of its six attempts on target. The Spartans' goal was just the fourth allowed by the Bulldogs in 13 matches on the season.
Whitehead, who came into the contest second in the nation in both save percentage and goals against average, made six saves in picking up the win. Kearney made two stops in the losing effort.
The loss knocked the Spartans out of first place in the SoCon, as College of Charleston topped Western Carolina on Friday, 1-0, to run its record to 6-1 in league play and take sole possession of the top spot in the standings.
UNCG returns to action at 1 p.m. Sunday, when it will wrap up its three-game homestand against Chattanooga.
Samford (9-1-3, 4-1-2 SoCon) vs. UNC Greensboro (9-6, 5-2 SoCon)
Date: Oct 16, 2009 Attendance: 220
Weather: 55 degrees, mostly cloudy
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Samford 1 1 2
UNC Greensboro 1 0 1
1 10:11 UNCG Tabitha Padgett (7) (unassisted)
2 20:14 SAM Leah Leppert (1) (Amber Cress;Natalie Fleming)
3 45:42 SAM Amber Cress (6) (Paige Lanter)
Shots: Samford 6, UNC Greensboro 22
Saves: Samford 7 (Alyssa Whitehead 6; TEAM 1), UNC Greensboro 2 (Kelsey Kearney 2)
Corner kicks: Samford 3, UNC Greensboro 5
Fouls: Samford 9, UNC Greensboro 10
- UNCG -