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Wacker’s brace overcomes ETSU’s second-half performance, 2-1
FGCU (7-2-2 (2-0-0 A-Sun))
ETSU (7-3-0 (1-1-0 A-Sun))
9/23/2012 | Johnson City, Tenn. | Attendance: 299
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Kerns ties ETSU's single-season goals record
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 23, 2012) – A second half that started with junior Ramey Kerns (Kings Mountain, N.C.) tying the ETSU women’s soccer program record for goals in a season ended in heartbreak for the Lady Bucs as FGCU’s Shannen Wacker put in back-to-back scores to drop ETSU, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon in Atlantic Sun play at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
Kerns lined up a penalty kick in the 64th minute after freshman Sarah Zadrazil (St. Gilgen, Austria) was fouled with control of the ball in the box. The A-Sun’s leading goal scorer confidently converted the chance to give ETSU (7-3-0, 1-1-0 A-Sun) the lead, but it was erased with just under 15 minutes to play as FGCU’s (7-2-2, 2-0-0 A-Sun) Shannen Wacker put in the equalizer, followed by the eventual game-winner 1:25 later. A desperation shot from sophomore midfielder Emilee Engelhaupt (Charlotte, N.C.) gave the Eagles one last test in the final seconds, but Brittany Brown snagged ETSU’s hopes from under the crossbar as the final horn sounded.
ETSU outshot the Eagles 12-7 through the second half and created more chances at goal, but were on the unfortunate end of two miscues that led to Wacker’s fourth and fifth goals of the season. For the game, the Lady Bucs won the shot count 14-11, with both sides taking four set pieces from the corner.
“We’re disappointed with the result, but very proud of the team for its second-half performance,” ETSU head coach Adam Sayers said. “We dominated the game for the vast majority of the second half; we created more chances, better chances, we kept the ball well, our movement was good and our passing was crisp.
“[FGCU] is a very strong team. Their speed of play in possession and movement off the ball are very good. In the first half they had more of the possession, but I thought we defended very well. Our central defenders, Hannah Short and Sam Kron, in particular were excellent. FGCU scored two quick goals on the counterattack, but apart from those two incidences we absolutely dominated the second half. I’m very proud of the team, and we have lots of positives to take from today's performance.”
Ally Kasun spurred both counters, finding Kaitlin Parker along the left side of the box who one-touched a cross to Wacker for the first score, and playing a through ball to Wacker a minute later to put FGCU in front for good. FGCU’s consecutive goals came 12 minutes after Kerns’ 12th goal of the year, as the junior striker now sits even with Erin Ashton atop the ETSU record books for goals in a season. She also sits just three points behind Ashton’s 30 from 2005 for the single-season points record.
The Sunday matinee began quietly, with both sides trying to control possession and few attempts at goal. The Eagles seemed to maintain more control of the game through the opening period, but ETSU found its footing as the half progressed. After being held without a shot for 38 minutes, Kerns sent the Lady Bucs’ first attempt high of the crossbar. Sophomore Jasmin Dutton (Kinmel Bay, Wales) gave Brown her first test of the day, putting a shot on frame as ETSU began to turn the flow of the game.
Only six shots were fired in the first half, with two from the home side, but the Lady Bucs turned the game on its head from the first whistle of the second half. Kerns, Engelhaupt and junior Lindsay Bickel (Hampstead, Md.) combined for four shots in just 13 minutes, along with large portions of possession favoring ETSU.
Shortly after the hour mark, Zadrazil weaved her way past Eagle defenders along the goal line and crept her way into the box with possession. Just as it seemed Zadrazil was going to put a shot on, she was tripped up from behind and referee Alan Schechtman pointed to the spot. Kerns stepped up to try and convert her second penalty of the year, and did just that to put the Lady Bucs in front of last year’s A-Sun Tournament champions.
"Ramey displayed lots of composure in taking a very good penalty," Sayers commented. "Sarah was a constant threat to the oppostion whenever she received the ball."
With all the momentum and the crowd behind them, the Lady Bucs continued to pressure Brown with shots by Kerns, Dutton and junior Lucy Goffe (Birmingham, England). Kerns’ and Goffe’s attempts at goal required two of Brown’s five saves on the day.
With 20 minutes to play, Wacker subbed on for Julia Roddar and leveled the score five minutes later on her first shot of the game. After Kerns threatened with another of her game-high seven shots, Wacker took the breath from the Summers-Taylor Stadium crowd with a second goal to put the Eagles in front for the first time all afternoon.
Freshman Alexa Passingham (Leicestershire, England) came on for Dutton, and attempted to equalize the score with a shot in the 89th minute, before Engelhaupt nearly pulled out a miracle in the final seconds. In the end, ETSU suffered its first loss in its last 14 games at Summers-Taylor Stadium. The last time the Lady Bucs walked away defeated at home was in last year’s home opener against Tennessee Tech, 2-1, on Aug. 26.
The Lady Buccaneers hit the road for their next three conference matches, beginning with a trip to Georgia next weekend for meetings with Kennesaw State and Mercer.
- Kerns’ penalty kick in the 64th minute moved her goal total to 12 through the first 10 games, tying the ETSU mark for goals in a season (Erin Ashton, 2002). Kerns is also just three points shy of Ashton’s record for points in a season (30) which was set back in 2005.
- With the loss, ETSU has dropped its last four meetings with FGCU. The Lady Bucs last defeated the Eagles on Oct. 26, 2008 in overtime, 2-1.
- Kerns is two-for-two on penalties this season, converting her other in the 3-2 win over Western Carolina.
- ETSU’s 13-game home unbeaten streak came to an end. The Lady Bucs were 12-0-1 in their last 13 games at Summers-Taylor Stadium. Their previous loss came in last year’s home opener, 2-1, at the hands of Tennessee Tech.
For more information on ETSU women’s soccer, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s soccer links.