No. 21 UNCG (9-1-1, 4-0-0 SoCon) vs. The Citadel (7-4-1, 3-1-0 SoCon), Oct. 8, 7 p.m., UNCG Soccer Stadium
Video: Spartan All Access (free all season)
Admission: Free (all season)
- No. 21 UNCG hosts upstart Southern Conference contender The Citadel on Friday at UNCG Soccer Stadium at 7 p.m. The game will also serve as Military Appreciation Night. Admission is free.
- As part of Military Appreciation Night, the first 50 military members through the gates to show IDs will receive free UNCG water bottles.
- UNCG will be honoring 2010 UNCG Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Raila Maisonlahti Harris on Friday. Harris was a three-time all-conference selection for the Spartans from 1994-97, earning the honor from the Big South in 1995 and 1996 and the Southern Conference in 1997. She was a two-time all-region selection and the Big South Championship MVP in 1996. Harris was inducted into the UNCG Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept 25.
- At 9-1-1, UNCG is off to the best start in the program's 23-year history. The 1991 squad previously held that distinction, opening 9-1-0 before dropping its next game.
- UNCG is ranked for the third week this season. The Spartans are No. 21 in the Soccer America poll, moving up four spots from last week. UNCG also made its season debut in the NSCAA/HendrickCars.com poll this week, entering at No. 24 for its first appearance in that poll since Dec. 11, 1997. UNCG was a season-high 18th in the Soccer America poll on Aug. 30.
- The Spartans are 4-0-0 thus far in the league and are enjoying their familiar perch atop the SoCon standings. The Citadel, however, has been a pleasant surprise this season, having already set school records for single-season wins (seven) and SoCon wins (three) to sit in a tie for second in the standings. The Bulldogs, picked 10th in the SoCon preseason poll, went 5-12-2 overall and 2-7-2 in the league last year. This year, they've put together the first five-game winning streak in school history and opened SoCon play 3-0 with wins over Western Carolina, Appalachian State and Chattanooga.
- UNCG is 9-0-0 against The Citadel all-time, with the Spartans winning every year since the series began in 2001. UNCG has outscored the Bulldogs 54-2 in the series, but one of The Citadel's goals came in last season's 2-1 UNCG win. Prior to that, the closest game in the series was a 2-0 affair in 2002. The Spartans have averaged 5.8 goals per game in five games against The Citadel in Greensboro.
- Despite the lopsided series history, The Citadel nearly came away with a tie against UNCG last season, if not for some late-game heroics by Lauren Hein. Hein scored both goals in the 2-1 win on Oct. 25, but it was her score in the 83rd minute – just 52 seconds after the Bulldogs had tied it – that mattered most. The Citadel's Nicole Martinoli scored on a penalty kick at the 81:13 mark, but Hein answered with an open-netter off a Nicole Danford pass at the 82:05 mark. Hein's first goal came in the 64th minute.
- Junior keeper Kelsey Kearney could match the school record for career shutouts Friday. The Durham, N.C., native has 24 for her career, leaving her one back of school-record holder Jennifer Stillman, who had 25 from 2002-05.
- UNCG dropped defending SoCon tournament champion Davidson 4-0 on Sunday, exacting some revenge for a pair of losses to the Wildcats last season. Sophomore Tabitha Padgett had a hand in all four goals, recording her first career hat trick and assisting on a Jessi Gulledge goal. Kearney made a pair of saves for her fifth shutout of the season.
- Padgett's hat trick was the first for the Spartans in exactly two years. Prior to Sunday, the last time UNCG had a hat trick was on Oct. 3, 2008, when Katelynn Donovan scored three goals against, coincidentally, The Citadel in the Spartans' 5-0 win.
- Padgett, who also had a goal and two assists in UNCG's 5-1 win over Georgia Southern on Oct. 1, was named the SoCon Player of the Week for her efforts. She had 11 points on the weekend, scoring four goals and adding three assists.
- With her big weekend, Padgett took over the team scoring lead. The reigning Southern Conference Co-Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year now has 17 points on six goals and a career-high five assists this season. She is just two points shy of matching her total from last season. Junior Cat Barnekow also had a productive weekend, scoring a pair of goals against GSU and notching assists in both games to move up to second on the team with 10 points. Barnekow has a career-best six assists this season. Kearney has played all but 40 minutes in goal this season, posting a goals against average of 0.65 and a save percentage of .841 in 970:13. She has turned in five shutouts and allowed just seven goals in 11 games.
- UNCG leads the SoCon in goals per game (2.27), assists (30), assists per game (2.73), goals allowed (eight) and GAA (0.71). Padgett leads the league in points per game (1.55) and game-winning goals (three) and Barnekow leads in assists (six) and assists per game (0.55). Kearney is second in GAA (0.65), shutouts (five) and shutouts per game (0.45).
- Kearney is UNCG's and the SoCon's career leader in GAA, as she holds a mark of 0.64 in 49 matches played.
- Of UNCG's 25 goals scored thus far this season, 18 of them have come from underclassmen. Sophomores Padgett (six), Hein (three), and Gulledge (three) account for 12, while freshmen Kristen Schmidbauer (three), Stine Schoening (one), Kory Spotts (one) and Lauren Lover (one) account for the other six. Jenn Partenheimer, a senior, has scored four, while juniors Barnekow (two) and Jaimey Etten (one) have the only other goals by upperclassmen.
- The Citadel won five straight from Sept. 15-Oct. 1, topping South Carolina State, Charleston Southern, Western Carolina, Appalachian State and Chattanooga. The Bulldogs' streak came to an end against Samford on Sunday in the form of a 7-0 loss. The Cadets took 10 shots in the contest, but put just four of them on frame. Nicole Levermann and Vanessa Aponte led the way with three shots each. Laura Serafino worked 68 minutes in the net, allowing six goals and making four saves, while Whitney Nave worked the final 22 minutes, making two saves and allowing one goal.
- Mariana Garcia and Amy Loughran share the team scoring lead with 11 points each, both on a team-high five goals and one assist. Aponte and Martinoli lead the team with three assists each. Serafino has started all 12 games in goal, amassing a 1.78 GAA and a .747 save percentage in 962:04.
- The Citadel is 4-2-1 away from home and 3-0-1 in true road matches. UNCG is 5-0-0 at home.
- UNCG will be the first ranked team the Bulldogs have faced this season.
- UNCG -