FULLERTON, Calif. – The No. 18 UNCG women's soccer team remained undefeated and extended the best start in school history Friday, playing to a scoreless draw with Southern Cal at the Under Armour Invitational hosted by Cal State Fullerton.
The Spartans move to 3-0-1 on the season, while USC goes to 1-1-2. The Trojans, the 2007 NCAA champions, were ranked in all three of the major preseason polls (NSCAA, Soccer America, Soccer Times).
"It was the type of game that I was expecting," UNCG coach Eddie Radwanski said. "They're a good Pac-10 team; they play with a lot of energy and aggressiveness. We were expecting that type of effort. We kind of had a flat first half. I felt we were capable of more. Credit to our kids in the second half, they gave a great effort and created chances to score. It was a tight match. Both teams had opportunities all throughout, even in the overtime. I think it's probably a fair statement to say both teams left it all on the field."
USC outshot UNCG 17-6, but put just three of those shots on frame. UNCG keeper Kelsey Kearney, the reigning Southern Conference Player of the Week, made three saves for the 22nd shutout of her career and third in four games this season.
Kearney's first save came in the 18th minute, when she stopped a point-blank shot off the foot of Megan Ohai. Kearney made another save in the 51st minute, corralling Carly Butcher's shot. Her final save came in the second overtime, as she stonewalled Elizabeth Eddy's attempt in the 103rd minute.
USC got off three corner kicks in the first overtime and three shots in the second one, but UNCG's defense was up to the challenge.
Freshman defender Kory Spotts led UNCG with two shots on the evening. Eddy had four to pace the Trojans.
Kearney's 22nd career shutout moves her into sole possession of second place on UNCG's career list, leaving her just three back of school record-holder Jennifer Stillman, who posted 25 shutouts from 2002-05.
The Spartans return to action Sunday against tournament host Cal State Fullerton. Opening kick is set for 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.
No. 18 UNCG 0, USC 0 (2OT)
Goals by period 1 2 OT
UNCG................ 0 0 0 0 - 0
USC................. 0 0 0 0 - 0
Shots: UNCG 6, USC 17
Saves: UNCG 3 (Kelsey Kearney 3), USC 2 (Church, Shelby 2)
Corner kicks: UNCG 2, USC 6
Fouls: UNCG 13, USC 10
- UNCG -