Oct. 4, 2007
Cullowhee, N.C. - Women's soccer, football and softball will all be in action this weekend on the Western Carolina campus. Women's soccer hosts a pair of Southern Conference teams Friday and Sunday, football plays its first Southern Conference home game of the season Saturday when the Catamounts face No. 36/37 Elon and softball caps off its fall practice season with a doubleheader against Walter's State on Sunday.
Friday evening the WCU women's soccer team welcomes SoCon rival Appalachian State to the Catamount Athletic Complex, starting at 6:00 p.m. Fans are encouraged to make it out early, as seating is limited and a large crowd is expected for the Friday night rivalry matchup. Western is currently 5-6 on the season, and 1-1 at home.
The Cats have won two straight matches between the two teams, including a 3-2 victory last season in Boone. WCU coach Tammy DeCesare is undefeated against Appalachian State, with her other win coming in a 1-0 overtime match at home in her inaugural season at the helm. The Catamounts have yet to lose to ASU in Cullowhee, having come out on top in all three matches played at home.
The Catamounts are looking to pick up their first Southern Conference win of the season, having dropped a pair of close matches to two teams tied for the SoCon lead, Furman and UNC Greensboro. A win against Appalachian State would also move the team back to .500 on the season.
The team has thrived on their defensive prowess this season. They currently rank in the top three in the SoCon in goals allowed, saves, goals allowed average, and shut outs. Goalkeeper Caitlin Williams, who won Southern Conference Player of the Week two weeks ago, also sits in the top four in saves, save percentage, saves per game, and shut outs.
The team will close out this weekend's activities with a home match against The Citadel. It is the last game at home for the Cats until October 14. They have never lost a match against The Citadel, going 6-0 all time. A win would put them right back in the Southern Conference race, with only a few games remaining on the year. Tickets for the match are $5 dollars for adults and $3 for children. WCU students get in free with their CatCard.
Football will try and bounce back in the Southern Conference race after falling 50-21 at Georgia Southern last Saturday. The Catamounts host Elon, a squad that lost 49-32 to fifth ranked Appalachian State, at 6 p.m. at Whitmire Stadium. The Phoenix is currently 2-2 and 0-1 in conference play while the Catamounts are 1-4 and also 0-1 in the conference.
Since joining the Southern Conference in 1977 (member in 1976, although did not compete for the championship until `77), Western is 17-13 overall in the first home conference game of the year. Under Head Coach Kent Briggs, Western is 2-3 in the first league home game of the season with wins over The Citadel (28-21 in 2003) and #2 Furman (41-21 in 2005).
The Catamounts trail in the all-time series with Elon, 16-18-2, after having their four-game series winning streak snapped at Elon's Rhodes Stadium last October, 37-19. In Cullowhee, Western is 13-6-1 all-time against the Phoenix.
For a third-consecutive week, a Western Carolina Catamount football player was recognized by the Southern Conference office as junior transfer Quinton Phillips was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Week after leading the WCU defense with a career-best 19 tackles last weekend at Georgia Southern. Phillips, a transfer from Louisburg College, finished with six solo tackles and 13 assists at GSU. The Charlotte, N.C., native entered the Georgia Southern game with 26 total tackles through the first four games of the season, nearly doubling his seasonal output in one game. Phillips joins junior place kicker Jonathan Parsons as the second Catamount to combine for WCU's three SoCon weekly awards this season.
Saturday's game will be broadcast by the Catamount Sports Network and can be heard over six radio stations in Western North Carolina: WWCU-FM, Power 90dot5 in Cullowhee; 680 AM WRGC in Sylva; 920 AM WPTL in Canton; 1480 AM WPFJ in Franklin; 1590 AM WBHN in Bryson City; and 1600 AM WTZQ in Hendersonville. There are also several online options: www.CatamountSports.com, www.WWCUFM.com and www.WRGC.com.
Western Carolina softball plays its second fall series of the season Sunday when the Catamounts host a doubleheader with Walter's State beginning at noon at the Catamount Softball Complex. The club defeated Young Harris 7-6 September 27 in its first fall game of the year.
The Catamounts were bolstered by youth and veterans in the game against Young Harris. Redshirt sophomore Mollie Fowler had a huge game, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI. Freshman Amber Hawkins also showed off her offensive prowess, going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a run scored.
The Catamount pitching suffered its ups and downs. Freshman Lilly McDonagh had a rocky start, allowing four runs in the first inning of play but settled down in the ensuing innings. Junior Lauren Ross was dominating tossing five scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out two.
The Catamount softball game is free to the public.