GREENSBORO, N.C. --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's soccer team fell 6-1 to defending Southern Conference champion UNCG in the league-opening game for both teams. The game was moved from its original Friday date after a round of severe weather postponed the action until tonight. The Mocs, riding its best seven-game mark since 2004, had not lost in five game beginning with a tie against Gardner-Webb and four straight wins.
UTC couldn't solve the UNCG offense Saturday, allowing six goals. The Spartans had control of the ball to start the game, but Chattanooga immediately took it away and within the first minute was downfield with a scoring opportunity. However, junior Becca Smith's (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) shot attempt rang off the upright and UNCG took it the other way for a quick score before two minutes had run off the clock.
UNCG's Karin Sendel headed a cross from Kristin Player high in the goal to go up 1-0 at the 1:54 mark of the game. It wouldn't take long for the Mocs to find their feet and knot up the match on a goal from senior Donna-Kay Henry (Queens Village, N.Y.). Smith fed a shot over the top of the defense to Henry. The shot deflected off the keeper and back to Henry who put it in the net for the equalizer.
However, that was as much offense as Chattanooga would get for the remainder of the game. Player recorded her first goal of the year taking a pass from Kaytee O'Brien for what would prove to be the game winner. Ashlee Wilhelmsen scored two goals in the final six minutes of the first half to give the Spartans a 4-1 advantage at halftime.
Chattanooga's defense stepped up as the UNCG offense pushed the action, blocking several shot attempts. Player would score her second goal of the year in the 55th minute and Karina Rodriguez scored the last goal unassisted for the 6-1 final.
UNCG outshot the Mocs 27-9 with eight shots from Player, four on goal. Player led all scorers with two goals and three assists. Chattanooga's Smith had a team-high four shots for UTC who had just two shots on goal to the Spartans' 12.
Sophomore Taylor Mangrum (Franklin, Tenn.) had six saves on the day while giving up a season-high six goals. The Mocs fall to 5-2-1 overall and 0-1 in league action. UTC will travel to Elon Monday for a 1:30 p.m. matchup. That game was originally scheduled for Sunday, but moved because of Friday's postponement. UNCG collects its second win of the year improving to 2-6 overall and 1-0 in SoCon action.
September 24, 2011