Oct. 27, 2013
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Sophomore forward Markie-Lynn Studnicky scored a pair of goals pacing Western Carolina women's soccer (9-8-1, 3-6 Southern Conference) to a key 4-0 win over The Citadel (5-10-2, 3-7 SoCon) Sunday at WLI Field.
With losses today by Davidson and Georgia Southern, Western Carolina has seen its fate fall firmly at its feet in regards to a spot in the Southern Conference Tournament. Western Carolina's pass into the SoCon Tournament rests solely on its end of the season game against rival Appalachian State as has been for the last three years.
Western Carolina hosts Appalachian State at 7 p.m. Oct. 30 in its final home game of the year. A Catamount victory against Appalachian State would all but assure Western Carolina a spot in the 2013 Southern Conference Tournament. The Catamounts can also make the tournament with a tie and Davidson win over Georgia Southern. A loss will keep Western Carolina out of the tourney.
The two teams above Western Carolina in the standings, Georgia Southern and Davidson, each have 10 points with the Catamounts standing with nine. A Catamount victory would give WCU 12 points thus vaulting the Catamounts over the loser between Georgia Southern and Davidson - as the loser would end the regular season with 10 points.
In the key victory against The Citadel on Sunday, Western Carolina unloaded for four goals matching the goal tally it had against Francis Marion on Friday's 4-2 win over the Patriots.
Scoreless for the first 30 plus minutes of the match, Western Carolina got a late goal before the end of the first half. Senior Kayla Sedgley notched her second goal of the season when she took a pass from freshman Mercedes Ducker sneaking ahead of the defense to take a shot in the middle of the box for the score.
Western Carolina didn't waste any time at the start of the second half. Studnicky notched the first of her two goals in the game 57 seconds, 45:57, into the second half. Taking a pass from freshman Kasey Cooke
, Studnicky's shot hit the cross bar, dropped over the goal and went in.
At 59:43, sophomore Kelly Pannell scored her eighth goal on the year, and third over the last two games, when a cross from junior forward Caitlyn Bradham went into the box and into the goal. Studnicky added her second goal of the game from a cross by Christine Cockrell at mid field and fired a sliding shot into the goal. It was also Studnicky's third goal over the last two games.
Western Carolina's offensive onslaught was oppressive against The Citadel, as it has been in previous games this season. The Catamounts' aggressive nature paid off with the four definitive goals. Overall, Western Carolina had 22 shots in the game with The Citadel having 14. The Bulldogs had six shots on goal all resulting in saves from freshman goal keeper Carly Tinstman.
The four goals against The Citadel is the most against a Southern Conference opponent and ties the season high, in goal production, the Catamounts set against Francis Marion on Oct. 25.
Western Carolina's three Southern Conference victories have all come on the road.
A Western Carolina win on Wednesday against Appalachian State will not only give them a spot in the SoCon Tournament it will mark the first time the Catamounts have hit double figure digits in victories since 2008 - when the team had 13 and won the Southern Conference Tournament.
Sophomore forward Kelly Pannell has eight goals this season and is just one goal shy of tying fellow sophomore Markie-Lynn Studnicky's nine goals from 2012 ... Pannell is two goals away from tying for fifth place for goals in a single season in the Catamount record books - held by Laura Brameltt who had 10 in 2001.