Oct. 28, 2005
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina sophomore Heather Dittmer scored twice in the first 21 minutes leading the Catamounts to a 2-0 Southern Conference win over Georgia Southern Friday afternoon at Eagle Field.
Western improved to 15-4-0 overall and 6-3-0 in the SoCon with the win, while Georgia Southern drops to 3-14-1 and 2-7-0 in league play. The 15th win for first-year head coach Tammy DeCesare sets a school record for regular season wins. The 2001 Catamounts tallied 16 victories, with two coming in the SoCon tournament which ended in the championship game.
Dittmer put Western Carolina up early, heading in a cross from freshman Arlan Whittle on a direct kick at the 9:02 mark of the first half. Just over 11 minutes later (20:14), she added to the lead. Junior Meghan Reilly dribbled down the left sideline and crossed to senior Natalie Turgeon at the penalty spot. Turgeon dropped it to Dittmer at the top of the 18-yard box, whose low line-drive shot made it through traffic for her fifth goal of the season which moved her to second on the team, one behind classmate Lauren Atkinson.
Three of Dittmer's four shots were on goal, with the two finding the back of the net on the afternoon. Also recording multiple shots for Western were Whittle and senior Casey Davis, each with three, and Reilly, Atkinson, senior Megan Chambers, and junior Keevy Harris each with a pair. All told, the Catamounts out shot Georgia Southern 24-to-11 and held a 6-to-3 edge in corner kick opportunities.
Trailing late in the contest, Georgia Southern came within inches of pulling to one with less than 15 minutes remaining. Eagle freshman Ashley Toussaint's drive was deflected just wide of the goal by Catamount keeper, junior Alesha Row.
Row made six saves for her 11th shutout of the season and her third-in-a-row. She now has improved her career total to 15, three shy of tying the WCU all-time career record. The Eagles' sophomore net minder, Laura-Ashley Harris, had 10 stops, but allowed both goals.
With the conference championship scheduled to begin next Thursday night, the Catamounts' conference record currently places them fourth. Everyone is behind WCU's Sunday opponent, the SoCon-leading Davidson Wildcats, who clinched the top seed with an overtime win over the College of Charleston Thursday night. Furman and UNC Greensboro rank second and third, but will determine the higher seed in a head-to-head meeting Sunday at 2:00 pm in Greenville, S.C. Western is fourth, just ahead of Chattanooga fell to Wofford in double-overtime and travels to the sixth-place College of Charleston for the season finale Sunday.
As mentioned, Western Carolina hosts its regular-season finale Sunday afternoon, facing Davidson at 4:00 pm at the Catamount Athletic Complex. Children are encouraged to attend the matches dressed in their best Halloween costumes, which will allow them free admission at both the soccer match at 4:00 pm, and also the Catamount volleyball match in the Ramsey Center at 2:00 pm Sunday. There will be costume contests at each match, with prizes awarded to the best outfit, as well as other fun Halloween games.