Nov. 4, 2002
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina freshman Natasha Moore scored her seventh goal of the season to tie the match at 1-1 and send it into overtime against UNC Asheville in the Cats' final regular-season match before heading into the SoCon Tournament this weekend. It was also an emotional and historical day for the WCU women's soccer program Monday as the school's first ever senior class lined up on Charles W. Schrader Field for the last time. This group includes goalkeeper Mandi Tinsley, defender/midfielder Kyla Deon, midfielder Nardia Moore, midfielder Morgan Foresman, defender Meghan Doherty, defender Sarah Rice, forward/midfielder Kelly Barker, forward Christel Kirkpatrick and defender Jamie Pawlik.
Neither team could put the ball in the net in the first half as WCU senior Mandi Tinsley and UNCA's Michelle Mattos recorded three saves a piece in the first 45 minutes. The Catamounts came out attacking in the second, firing 10 shots. However, it was UNCA who scored first on a shot by Ellen Sims who slipped it past Tinsley off a pass by teammate Kelsey Dawson at the 71:22 mark to record her fifth goal of the season.
Western came back with an answer to the Bulldogs' offensive drive with one of their own just three minutes later. Moore received the pass from teammate Natalie Turgeon and shot the ball just past Mattos' left side into the net at the 74:31 mark. The assist was Turgeon's second of the season.
Moore's goal sent the match into its first overtime. UNCA came out firing, sending off five shots, two of which were on goal. The Cats could not answer offensively and Tinsley made the saves to send the match into a sudden death double overtime. Both teams got one shot off a piece in the fourth period and Tinsley added a save to bring her total to 10 for the match, but neither team was able to score as the match ended in a 1-1 tie. Tinsley now has 125 saves on the season, which breaks her own record for single-season saves set just last year when she posted 116.
"This was a hard fought match both ways," said UNCA head coach Michele Cornish. "We had a better season this year and have turned this program around. We're really looking forward to the future of this program."
The Catamounts finish the regular season with a 10-5-3 record overall and take a 7-1-2 league record into this weekend's Southern Conference Tournament. WCU is seeded second and will face seventh-seeded Wofford on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 7:30 pm at the UNC Greensboro Soccer Stadium.
The Bulldogs finish their regular season at 7-7-1 and take a 2-4-0 league record into the Big South Tournament, scheduled to begin Thursday, Nov. 7, in Charleston, S.C. at Blackbaud Stadium on Daniel Island. UNCA enters as the fifth seed and will face fourth-seeded Elon Thursday at 2 pm.
On WCU's first graduating class, head coach Debbie Hensley said, "These seniors have done an outstanding job setting a foundation for this program. We will certainly miss seeing their faces on this pitch."
Among the many highlights this group of seniors has produced over the four years Western has had women's soccer include never having a losing season, defeating each SoCon team at least once, having a 17-match home unbeaten streak, having a current unbeaten streak of seven SoCon road games, earning the second seed in this year's SoCon Championship, finishing second in last year's SoCon Championship and winning a share of the SoCon regular-season title in 2001.