JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 20, 2012) – Having tied the program record for most non-conference wins through the first half of the season, the ETSU women’s soccer team begins conference play as the reigning co-champions of the Atlantic Sun this weekend at Summers-Taylor Stadium against Stetson and FGCU.
ETSU (6-2-0) begins the conference season against Stetson (2-6-0) on Friday night at 7 p.m., followed by a showdown with last year’s A-Sun Tournament champion, FGCU (5-2-2), Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.
The Lady Buccaneers have had an impressive opening to their 2012 campaign, winning six games to tie the 2000 squad for most non-conference wins. ETSU’s .750 winning percentage in non-conference play stands alone at the top over the Lady Bucs from 2000 that went 6-3 (.667).
Junior striker Ramey Kerns (Kings Mountain, N.C.) and freshman midfielder Sarah Zadrazil (St. Gilgen, Austria) have been an integral part of the Lady Bucs’ early success. Kerns has scored nine goals and registered one assist to rank among the nation’s top five in goals, goals per game (1.125) and points per game (2.63). Her 21 total points also ranks seventh in the NCAA. Zadrazil has been the catalyst for the majority of those goals; ranking in a tie for third in the country in both assists (7) and assists per game (0.88). Both lead the Atlantic Sun in each of those respective categories.
ETSU’s Last Outing
ETSU wrapped up non-conference play on the road last Friday, but fell to Longwood, 2-1. Junior Samantha Kron (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) scored the lone Lady Buccaneer goal off a free kick in the 67th minute to bring ETSU even. Kron sent a cross through the penalty area toward goal looking for a teammate to knock it in. Instead, a Lancer defender attempted to clear, but missed her mark and sent the ball backward into goal. After initially being ruled an own goal, Kron was given credit for the score since the momentum of her pass carried the ball into goal and a Longwood defender never had complete control of possession.
Unfortunately, Kron’s goal did not hold up as Bridget Bergquist scored less than three minutes later to give LU the lead and eventual victory.
Scouting the Hatters
Stetson will be looking to put an end to its mini-losing skid. The Hatters have lost their last two contests on the road to Furman and at home against UAB, being outscored 6-2 through those two defeats. Stetson is also winless in road games to this point in the season, losing its season opener to FIU, at Troy and most recently to Furman.
Alyssa Welsh is Steston’s biggest goal scoring threat. Welsh has scored three times off 12 shots and four shots on goal. The other six Stetson goals have come from six different Hatters. Through its first eight games, Stetson is being outscored 18-9 and allowing opponents a GAA of 2.24.
Scouting the Eagles
Florida Gulf Coast enters the weekend looking for its first win three games. Since winning three in a row against FIU, Tulsa and St. Louis, the Eagles went winless last weekend with a draw to Northern Arizona, 1-1, and a loss to UNLV, 2-1. NAU was FGCU’s only other road game of the season, but the Eagles will get two this weekend as they face USC Upstate in Spartanburg, S.C. on Friday before traveling to Johnson City on Sunday.
Shea Rhoney leads FGCU’s attack with four goals and two assists to lead the team in both goals and points. Shannen Wacker and Kaitlin Parker have netted three goals apiece to rank second on the team in goal scored. On the season, FGCU has outscored its opponents 17-11, allowing opponents GAA of 1.16.
ETSU’s meeting with Stetson will be its ninth all-time, with the Lady Bucs holding a 6-2-0 advantage. Last year, ETSU went down to DeLand, Fla. and came away victorious, 6-3. In its three meetings against Stetson in Johnson City, ETSU is 3-0 having won by one goal each time.
The Lady Bucs will be looking to get back to .500 in the all-time series and put an end to its three-game losing streak against FGCU. Last year, ETSU went to Ft. Myers, Fla. following its win over Stetson, but dropped its only A-Sun game of the season to the Eagles, 3-0. The Lady Buccaneers are 1-1 at home against FGCU, falling, 1-0, on Oct. 8, 2010 and winning in double-overtime, 2-1, on Oct. 26, 2008.
Live stats and free live video will be provided for both contests. Live stats will be available through Stat Broadcast on ETSUBucs.com, and free live streaming video will be available on ASun.TV.
For Friday’s game, ETSU will be celebrating the International Day of Peace. Donation opportunities will be available at the game, along with a halftime ceremony coordinated by Kayla Kuziola and Caitlin Cherry, members of Model United Nations.
“International Day of Peace is a day in which the world can forgo conflict and embrace peace if only for a moment,” expressed Kuziola. “It is an incredible opportunity for ETSU to participate in this global celebration. From outreach projects with local schools, to peaceful demonstrations during half time of the women’s soccer game, we are striving to raise awareness about the importance of this day.
“We will culminate the celebrations with a peace sign formation during half time of the women’s soccer game. Students representing a variety of countries will participate waving their national flag. This peace sign formation will be a beautiful way to show ETSU’s diversity and how, despite our differences, we can unite under one goal, peace.”
Sunday’s game is Dog Day at Summers-Taylor Stadium. Fans can bring their dogs to the game and receive a free Frisbee and tennis ball.
For more information on ETSU women’s soccer, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s soccer links.