Aug 30, 2013
Greenville, N.C. - With goals from junior Sara Robinson and sophomore Markie-Lynn Studnicky, the Western Carolina women's soccer team stretched its season-opening winning streak to three games on Friday evening, upending the UNC Wilmington Seahawks, 2-1, in tournament action at the East Carolina Soccer Stadium.
All three scores in the match came in the opening 45 minutes with Studnicky recording her third career game-winning goal for the Catamounts. Collectively, WCU's current three-game winning streak to start 2013 matches the best-ever in the program's 15-year history, duplicating the starts in both the 2001 and 2005 seasons.
WCU also remained perfect against the in-state foe, claiming a 2-0 series record with wins in two of the past three seasons.
"We had a great team effort today," said Catamount head coach Chad Millerfollowing the victory. "I was really proud of how we stayed within our game plan and got the result. We scored two great goals early and then settled in for the rest of the match."
Robinson put the Catamounts on the board early in the first half with her second marker of the young season. Receiving a centering cross from Courtney Rosu, Robinson collected and fired a shot into the lower right corner of the cage to put WCU on the board, 1-0, just over four minutes into the match.
The goal was the second of the season for Robinson, a native of Winston-Salem, N.C.
After the Catamounts lit the scoreboard first, UNC Wilmington uncorked five shots over the next 11 minutes looking for the equalizer. However, just over 19 minutes after their opening tally, the Catamounts would get an insurance marker as Studnicky notched her second goal of the season. Seahawks goalkeeper Carolyn Huddy came out of the net to play a ball but was beaten by Studnicky who poked one in from 18 yards out, extending WCU's advantage to 2-0.
UNC Wilmington (0-3) mounted a charge in the closing minutes of the opening stanza before converting inside the final five minutes of the half. At the 41:25 mark, UNCW's Katrina Guillou tallied the first goal against the Catamounts in 2013. Theresa O'Sullivan fired a pass into the box where Guillou settled before firing a turnaround shot into the lower left corner of the goal for the score.
Looking to capitalize on its momentum grabbed at the end of the first half, UNCW had two corner kick opportunities inside the opening three minutes of the second half that generated one shot opportunity which sailed wide. The Seahawks had the first three shots of the half.
Pressing for another insurance goal, the Catamounts nearly converted on a set piece from a corner kick with 17 minutes remaining. Haven Leland put a corner kick into play where senior Christina Whitewas able to get a touch, but Huddy was able to knock it down for the save and preserve the one-goal deficit for UNCW. That was the only shot credited to WCU in the second half.
In a final push by the Seahawks, Stephanie Bronson fired high over the net in the 80th minute, but the Catamounts were able to hang on from there to pick up the victory.
As they have done through each of the first three matches, Catamount keepers Jenny Lauer and Carly Tinstmansplit the contest equally. Lauer, a junior, earned the starting nod - and the subsequent victory - making two saves in 45 minutes between the pipes, surrendering her first goal against of the year. A freshman from Raleigh, N.C., Tinstman, played the role of closer, blanking UNCW over the final 45 minutes making one save.
UNC Wilmington held a 12-to-4 edge in shots including an 8-to-3 edge in the opening 20 minutes. However, the shots on goal tally stood tied at four apiece with WCU scoring on two of its four shots in the victory. In addition to Robinson, Studnicky and White, junior Caitlyn Bradhamalso recorded a shot on goal for the Purple & Gold.
Western Carolina concludes tournament play on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 pm against the host ECU Pirates. The Catamounts are 1-4 all-time against their directional rival with WCU's lone victory coming in Cullowhee during the 2004 season. Fans can follow the match with live GameTracker and live video through ECUPirates.com or through CatamountSports.com.