Aug. 31, 2012
Cullowhee, N.C. - Redshirt freshman midfielder Kimberly Sullivan scored twice while senior Laura Greb tallied a goal and an assist as Western Carolina upended the Albany Great Danes, 3-1 under soggy conditions Friday night at the Catamount Athletic Complex.
WCU's second-consecutive victory evened the Catamounts seasonal record at 2-2 while Albany dropped its second-straight match, falling to 0-2-1 on the young season.
Lightning struck twice inside the opening four minutes of Friday night's match - and then, it literally struck. Both teams were able to light the scoreboard with a tally within 10 seconds of the other before a weather delay that lasted just under an hour.
WCU got on the board inside the opening three minutes of the match as Sullivan collected a carom in the right corner of the penalty area, settled the ball and uncorked a shot that reached the twine just over the fingertips of Great Dane goalkeeper, Alana Brennan. However, Albany responded off the ensuing kickoff as senior Chelsea DeVerna made a run up the middle of the pitch. She maneuvered through the Catamount defenders where she fired a shot from the top of the box that found its way into the net just under the cross bar to knot the game.
Just after the game-tying goal, the teams were chased from the pitch by a lightning strike from a passing storm cell. Approximately 15 minutes into the delay, the skies opened up and a torrential downpour peppered the field. Play resumed after a 50-minute delay on a soupy playing surface.
Still tied at one apiece, Sullivan struck again in the 17th minute as Greb put a cross through the goal box from the left side that skipped past Brennan. Sullivan was able to one-touch the loose ball into the right corner of the cage to hand the Catamounts a one-goal, 2-1, lead it would enjoy into the halftime break.
After intermission, WCU had a solid scoring chance 15 minutes into the second half stemming from a corner kick. Greb placed the corner to the middle of the box where Madison Lee settled and put a shot on goal. Five minutes later, the Catamounts again had a golden scoring opportunity as Markie-Lynn Studnicky delivered a pass to Greb on a rush that sailed just wide right.
The Catamounts kept up the offensive pressure inside the final 20 minutes of play, pressing for an insurance marker. McKenzie Hallstrom had back-to-back offerings with the first one thwarted by Brennan with a diving stab while the rebound was wide off the outside of the cage. Then, around the 15:40 mark, Christine Kaznowski fired a shot that just careened off the left post keeping it a one-goal game.
Albany continued to press for the equalizing goal. With just under five minutes remaining, senior Shayla Bergeron dribbled to the midline at the top of the box and put a shot on the Catamount net. WCU keeper Katie Jacobs made the save on the shot that hovered just off the grass.
WCU found its clinching goal in the 88th minute as Greb notched her first score of the year. Pushing up the middle of the field, Studnicky created an odd-man rush with a pass to her left to a streaking Greb to give the Catamounts a 2-on-1 break. The Robbinsville, N.J., native then dropped a shot into the lower right corner of the goal mouth to provide the two-goal advantage and put the match out of reach.
All told, the Catamounts held a commanding 21-to-6 edge in shots with a 5-to-2 advantage in corner kicks. WCU had five players record three shots apiece while Albany's Bergeron and Regina Nowicki were both credited with two shots.
Western Carolina returns to action on Friday, Sept. 7 as it visits former Southern Conference foe, East Tennessee State, in Johnson City, Tenn. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 pm.