MACON, Ga. (Sept. 30, 2012) – Mercer jumped out to a lead just 1:46 into the game, and overcame an equalizer from Samantha Kron (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) to defeat the ETSU women's soccer team, 3-1, in Atlantic Sun play on Sunday afternoon at Bear Field.
Tess Patton put in the early score for Mercer (8-3-2, 2-0-1 A-Sun), but the lead was erased when Kron launched in a free kick from outside the box to level the score in the 31st minute. Unfortunately for ETSU (8-4-0, 2-2-0 A-Sun), Patricia-Anne Upson put the Bears back on top just before entering halftime, and Danielle Hesse added on a late insurance goal to keep Mercer unbeaten in A-Sun play.
The loss is ETSU’s second in a row to the Bears, falling in last year’s A-Sun semifinals, 1-0, in double-overtime down in Ft. Myers, Fla. Bear Field has not been very kind to the Lady Bucs either, as ETSU drops to 0-3-1 all-time in road games versus Mercer.
For the game, Mercer won the shout count, 16-13, but gave up a 10-7 advantage to ETSU in the second half. It was the first half in which the Bears did the majority of their damage, scoring two goals on a 9-3 advantage in shots, and outlasting ETSU’s barrage through the remainder of the game.
Tess Patton recorded the first official statistic of the day, scoring in the second minute to put Mercer on top early. Danielle Hesse sent a long cross into the penalty area, which Patton headed in for her fourth goal of the year.
"Mercer scored very early on, which made our task harder in what was a very physical game," ETSU head coach Adam Sayers said. "I thought we came into the game more as the half went on, and got the equalizer we deserved."
After fending off six more Mercer shots, the Lady Bucs put in a response off the foot of Kron. The junior defender, who recorded two assists on Friday against Kennesaw State, lined up a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box following a Mercer foul, and drilled in her second goal of the year to level the score in the 31st minute.
ETSU seemed to be imposing itself on the game more, with Lucy Goffe (Birmingham, England) forcing Nikki Atkinson to make one of her two saves in the half, along with Kron sending in another threat from the corner.
With five minutes to go before halftime, Mercer grabbed the lead back. Patton nearly put in her second goal of the game, but put a free kick off the crossbar. The ensuing rebound found Upson, who sent a shot into the back of the net for her first goal of the season.
"Conceding just before half time was a blow.," Sayers added. "We started the second half well, creating several chances and hitting the bar, but Mercer broke and scored a very good goal with 20 minutes left."
Kron was inches from putting in her second equalizer of the day in the second half, hitting the crossbar on one of her team-high four shots. The rebound was cleared out of play.
With 20 minutes to play, Danielle Hesse gave Mercer a stronghold on the game with her third score of the season to put the Bears up by two. Brianna Stampler dumped off a pass to Hesse, who struck from the top of the box to send in the insurance.
"Our team battled well until the end, but we couldn't find a way through," Sayers went on to say, "I think I could have done a better job of preparing the team and making certain adjustments during the game. I certainly take responsibility for that."
The Lady Bucs continue their season-long three-game road trip on Saturday, as they head down to Spartanburg, S.C. to take on USC Upstate at 7 p.m.
- Samantha Kron put in her second goal of the year to go along with her four assists. She is third on the team in points with eight.
- ETSU was limited to one goal for the fifth time this year. In all four of their losses, the Lady Bucs have scored just once, with their only win in a one-goal performance coming against Radford.
- Three of ETSU’s four losses have come on the road, where it is 3-3 this year compared to 5-1 at home.
- Mercer extends its lead in the all-time series to 6-2-1, and is now 3-0-1 when playing ETSU in Macon.
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