Aug. 27, 2006
Durham, N.C. - Despite being out shot 24-to-2 on the day, the Western Carolina Catamounts only allowed the 12th-ranked Duke Blue Devils one goal, falling 1-0 Sunday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium.
Western, who dropped to 0-2 on the young season, was playing its second opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference in three days.
"For this to be the second match of the season and to be playing against the 12th-ranked team in the nation, I could not ask for more," said second-year head coach Tammy DeCesare. "I felt our backs played great and our goalkeeping from Alesha (Row) was phenomenal. We created some legitimate chances, but overall this was a very respectable result."
After opening the match with high intensity, the Blue Devils drew first blood at the 22:17 minute of the first half. Senior Rebecca Moros gained possession along the right side of the Catamount defense, turned up field and slipped past the WCU defender one-on-one. Just outside of the box, Moros sent a cross towards the middle of the field where her classmate, Sarah McCabe, redirected the pass from 15 yards out and found the lower left corner of the net for the goal.
Western, however, turned up the pressure in the latter stages of the first half despite not registering a shot on goal. At the 13:07 mark, junior Lauren Atkinson made a run on the Devil goal off a throw-in deep in Duke territory. However, the Duke keeper, Allison Lipsher, scooped up the long pass before Atkinson could get to it.
Then again, inside of three minutes to play, Western made a run as sophomore Buki Baruwa gathered a pass and maneuvered against two Blue Devil defenders, drawing a foul just to the left of the Duke goal. However, Atkinson's free kick sailed over the box where the Devils cleared away from freshman Shannon Fowkes.
Duke resumed the assault at the outset of the second half with McCabe firing a point blank shot at the right side of the goal, but All-Southern Conference goalkeeper, senior Alesha Row
, made a diving stab to make the save. Row recorded 10 saves on the day for the Catamounts, suffering her second loss of the season.
The Catamounts recorded their first shot on goal midway through the second half as Atkinson delivered an offering that dribbled wide right. Minutes later, Western had its best scoring opportunity of the match as redshirt freshman Rachael Shomper uncorked a shot that Lipsher gathered in for her only save of the match.
Inside the final 30 seconds of the match, the Cats mounted a final flurry, but the Devils' defense cleared the ball out of bounds on two-straight occasions to preserve the win.
Western Carolina opens its home schedule this Friday, Sept. 1 as the Catamounts host directional rival, East Carolina, at 7:00 pm at the Catamount Athletic Complex in Cullowhee. The first 100 fans through the gates on Friday evening will receive a FREE Catamount Soccer T-shirt.