UNCG at The Citadel, Oct. 7, 4 p.m., Charleston, S.C.
LiveStats: UNCGSpartans.com (via CitadelSports.com)
Video: CitadelSports.com (subscription-based)
UNCG at College of Charleston, Oct. 9, 1 p.m., Charleston, S.C.
LiveStats: UNCGSpartans.com (via CofCSports.com)
Video: Cougar All-Access (subscription-based)
- UNCG's women's soccer team looks to remain on top of the Southern Conference standings when it takes on The Citadel and College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C., this weekend. The Spartans will face the Bulldogs on Friday and the Cougars on Sunday.
- This weekend's contests wrap up a season-high four-match road swing for the Spartans. UNCG topped Georgia Southern and Davidson last weekend to move to 3-1-0 in league play. The Spartans are 4-7-0 overall.
- UNCG picked up a 2-1 win over Georgia Southern on Sept. 30, getting a game-tying goal from Kristin Player in the 76th minute and the winning goal from Nitang Jones in the 88th. The Spartans followed that up with a 1-0 win over Davidson on Sunday, with Player scoring in the 21st minute and the UNCG defense making the lone goal stand. Keeper Kelsey Kearney earned her first shutout of the season, extending her school record for career shutouts (32).
- 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 76-9-4 in league action.
- Entering the weekend, Player has 13 points on four goals and five assists, all team highs. Karin Sendel is second in scoring with seven points on two goals and three assists, while Ashlee Wilhelmsen and Lauren Hein are tied for third with five points on two goals and an assist each. Kearney has logged 945 minutes for the Spartans thus far, turning in a 2.19 goals against average.
- Player enters play this weekend as the SoCon's active career leader in points (76) and assists (20) and is third in goals (28) behind only Furman's Martha Hall (30) and Chattanooga's Donna-Kay Henry (29). Player is in the top 10 in school history in all three categories.
- 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 0.85 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 49 wins.
- UNCG is 10-0-0 all-time against the Bulldogs, with the first meeting coming in 2001. The Citadel has scored just two goals against the Spartans in those 10 meetings, with UNCG holding a 57-2 scoring edge in the series. Only twice has the score been within two goals: in a 2-0 UNCG win in 2002 and a 2-1 Spartan victory in Charleston in 2009.
- In last season's meeting, Kristen Schmidbauer scored twice and Jenn Partenheimer added another goal as UNCG won 3-0 on Oct. 8 in Greensboro. Kearney made two saves in picking up her 25th career shutout, matching the school record.
- The Bulldogs are led by reigning SoCon Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year Mariana Garcia and two-time SoCon Coach of the Year Bob Winch. The Citadel posted the best season in school history last year, going 12-8-1 overall and 7-4-0 in league play, more than doubling the program's previous number of total SoCon wins (three) in the nine seasons prior. The Bulldogs finished third in the league standings in 2010, by far their best-ever finish.
- This season, The Citadel is 4-6-2 overall and 2-1-1 in the SoCon so far. The Bulldogs picked up nonconference wins over Winthrop and USC Upstate and league wins over Appalachian State and Chattanooga. Overall, the Bulldogs are unbeaten in their last three matches, going 2-0-1 since opening league play with a 2-1 loss to Western Carolina on Sept. 23. The Citadel played to a scoreless draw with Samford last time out.
- Vanessa Aponte leads The Citadel with 13 points on five goals and three assists, also team highs. Garcia is right behind her with 12 points on five goals – three game-winners – and two assists. The Bulldogs have used four keepers so far on the season, with Laura Serafino seeing the bulk of the action. Serafino has a 1.08 GAA and 44 saves in 664 minutes of work. Her .846 save percentage leads the SoCon.
- The Citadel leads the league in shots per game with 17.33 per contest. The Bulldogs are also a physical team, leading the league in fouls (11.75 per game) and cautions (1.08 per game).
- College of Charleston, which plays Elon on Friday, enters the weekend with a 7-5-0 overall mark and a 3-1-0 league record to sit atop the SoCon alongside UNCG and Western Carolina.
- The Spartans are 13-3-1 against CofC all-time, including six straight wins over the Cougars, but the lopsided record is not indicative of how close the series has been. The last eight games in the series have been decided by just one goal each, including a pair of overtime wins for the Spartans. UNCG is 5-2-1 against CofC in Charleston, with the last loss there coming in 2004.
- Last season, the Spartans took a 2-1 win over CofC on Oct. 10 on the strength of goals by Jaimey Etten and Tabitha Padgett. Amanda Raymond scored the Cougars' lone goal. Kearney and CofC keeper Katie Tate made three saves each.
- Sarah Schaidle is running away with the team scoring lead, as she has 13 points on six goals entering this weekend. McCallie Jones is second with eight points on three goals and two assists, while Sarah Cardamone leads the squad with four assists and has six points total. Cricket Wise and Taylor Avery have split time in the net, with Wise turning in a 1.05 GAA in 682 minutes and Taylor posting a 2.38 mark in 415 minutes.
- The Cougars went 1-1 in SoCon play last weekend, dropping a 2-1 game in overtime at Samford on Sept. 30 and rebounding with a 3-2 win over Chattanooga two days later. Alli Brashear scored in both games for CofC, while Schaidle had two goals, including the game-winner, against the Mocs.
- UNCG -