Oct. 30, 2013
CULLOWHEE, N.C. -Western Carolina women's soccer (10-8-1, 4-6 Southern Conference) downed Appalachian State (8-4-5, 4-2-4 SoCon) 1-0, to earn a berth in the 2013 Southern Conference Women's Soccer Championships, Wednesday at the Catamount Athletic Complex.
With the victory, the Catamounts are the No. 8 seed and will play at No. 1 seed Furman at 2 p.m. Sunday November 3 in the first round of the tournament. Western Carolina is just one of two SoCon teams this season to hold the Paladins to a goal or less. The Catamounts lost to Furman 1-0 on Oct. 18 and the Mountaineers tied the Paladins 0-0 in double overtime.
Redshirt sophomore Sara Robinson netted the game-winning goal with just nine minutes left in the contest, at the 81:26 mark. A heady pass by sophomore forward Kelly Pannellfound Robinson all alone, going one-one-one with Appalachian State goalie Megan Roberson, taking the shot about 10 yards out and sailing it into the left side of the net. Robinson's goal was just minutes after Pannell had almost the same situation but her look was saved by Roberson.
Western Carolina and the crowd were on the edge of their seats with numerous close call goals that either were saved by the Appalachian State goalie, Roberson, or just missed the mark. Sophomore forward Markie-Lynn Studnickyjust missed scoring when her shot sailed over the crossbar.
The Catamount defense was as strong as it has been all season and it proved to be oppressive against Appalachian State. The Mountaineers had five corner kicks and just five shots, four on goal, and only one equating to a save by WCU freshman goalkeeper Carly Tinstman. In contrast Western Carolina had 13 shots, 10 on goal.
The Catamounts were bolstered by one of the biggest crowds of the season, almost 500 in attendance, as many dressed up in costumes for the Halloween themed game.
Western Carolina's 10 wins this season are the most since the Catamounts had 13 in 2008, the year WCU won the Southern Conference Tournament.
The victory over Appalachian State is the first conference victory at home this season.
Western Carolina's last appearance in the SoCon Tournament was 2011 when the Catamounts fell at Samford, as the No. 8 seed, 2-1.