No. 25 Spartans host Davidson on Sunday
UNCG (8-1-1, 3-0-0 SoCon) vs. Davidson (4-5-2, 0-1-2 SoCon), Oct. 3, 2 p.m., UNCG Soccer Stadium
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- No. 25 UNCG looks for its sixth straight win Sunday when it hosts rival Davidson at the UNCG Soccer Stadium at 2 p.m. Admission is free.
- The last time the Spartans won six straight games was during the 2008 season, when UNCG won 10 straight from Oct. 3 through Nov. 2 of that year.
- UNCG is 19-5-2 against Davidson all-time, but the Wildcats have won the last two, sweeping a pair of meetings last season to take consecutive wins in the series for the first time. Davidson topped the Spartans 2-1 on Oct. 2 of last season, snapping UNCG's 33-match regular-season unbeaten streak over SoCon foes and handing the Spartans their first league loss in regular-season play in nearly four years. Lauren Conner's goal in the 80th minute broke a 1-1 tie and gave the Wildcats the win. Davidson completed the season sweep in the semifinals of the SoCon Championship on Nov. 6, with Conner again delivering the knockout punch in the 1-0 win. Conner scored in the 19th minute and keeper Jessie Baxa made seven saves to keep the Spartans off the board. UNCG played without All-SoCon keeper Kelsey Kearney, who injured her knee the night before the game.
- UNCG is off to one of the best starts in its 23-year program history. At 8-1-1, the Spartans have just one loss through their first 10 games for just the second time in school history. The only other UNCG team to have just one loss through 10 contests was the 1991 squad, which opened the season 9-1-0. This year, UNCG was undefeated through its first four games for the first time ever. Should the Spartans top Davidson on Sunday, it would mark the best 11-game start in school history.
- UNCG re-entered the Soccer America Top 25 this week, coming in at a tie for 25th. The Spartans are ranked for the second time this season after spending a week at No. 18 after opening the year with wins over East Carolina, then-No. 10 Wake Forest and Utah. UNCG – which played to a scoreless tie with a then-unranked Southern Cal (which is now ranked between Nos. 15-17 in the three major polls) – is receiving votes in both the NSCAA and Soccer Times polls.
- Prior to this season, the last time UNCG was ranked was 1998, when the Spartans were No. 13 in the Soccer Buzz preseason poll.
- UNCG picked up a 5-1 win over Georgia Southern on Friday, with Cat Barnekow recording her first career multi-goal game with two goals and an assist. Tabitha Padgett had a goal and two assists, while Kristen Schmidbauer had a goal and an assist. Freshman Lauren Lover rounded out the scoring with her first career goal. The Eagles avoided the shutout by scoring as time expired.
- With four points Friday, Padgett took over the team scoring lead. The reigning Southern Conference Co-Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year now has 10 points on three goals and four assists this season. Barnekow's big game vaulted her into second on the team with nine points on two goals and five assists. Jenn Partenheimer, Lauren Hein and Schmidbauer have eight points each. Kearney has played all but 40 minutes in goal this season, posting a goals against average of 0.72 and a save percentage of .833 in 880:13. She has turned in four shutouts and allowed just seven goals in 10 games.
-UNCG leads the SoCon in goals allowed (eight) and assists per game (2.40) and is second in total assists (24), GAA (0.78) and shutouts (four). Barnekow and Jaimey Etten are tied for the league lead in assists (five) and assists per game (0.50). Kearney is second in the league in GAA (0.72), save percentage (.833), shutouts (tied, with four) and shutouts per game (0.40).
- With her four shutouts this season, Kearney is now up to 23 in her career, good for second on UNCG's career list. Kearney, a junior, now trails school-record holder Jennifer Stillman by just two. Kearney is also UNCG's career leader in GAA, as she holds a mark of 0.66 in 48 matches played.
- Of UNCG's 21 goals scored thus far this season, 14 of them have come from underclassmen. Sophomores Hein (three), Padgett (three) and Jessi Gulledge (two) account for eight, while freshmen Kristen Schmidbauer (three), Stine Schoening (one), Kory Spotts (one) and Lover (one) account for six. Partenheimer, a senior, has scored four, while junior Barnekow (two) and Etten (one) have the only other goals by upperclassmen.
-Reigning SoCon tournament champion Davidson dropped a 1-0 contest to Elon on Friday to fall to 4-5-2 overall and 0-1-2 in the SoCon. The loss snapped the Wildcats' eight-game unbeaten streak (5-0-3) against SoCon teams.
- Elon scored a goal in the 70th minute Friday and Davidson was unable to find the equalizer. The Wildcats' Stephanie Gerow had a shot hit the crossbar in the first half and Callan Elswick put one off the crossbar in the second half. Freshman keeper Renae Carins made four saves in her first career start.
- Allison Drutchas leads Davidson with nine points on two goals and five assists on the season. Deprise Brazel is second with six points on three goals. Baxa has started eight games for the Wildcats, posting a 1.43 GAA and an even .800 save percentage in 630:42 of work. She has a 4-4-0 record and three shutouts, but has not played in Davidson's last three contests. Christy Carry earned the start in Davidson's first two SoCon games, earning draws against Furman and Wofford.
- Davidson is 0-4-0 in true road games this season and 1-5-0 away from home overall.
- UNCG will be the second ranked team the Wildcats have faced this season. Davidson lost 5-1 to then-No. 7 Texas A&M on Sept. 3.
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