FAIRFAX, Va. – Junior Lauren Hein scored twice and classmate Karin Sendel scored a goal and dished off two assists as UNCG's women's soccer team downed George Mason on Friday, 4-1, to hand coach Steve Nugent his first career win.
"I'm really, really proud of the girls, really proud," Nugent said. "Under the circumstances, with two losses in the beginning of the season, to get scored on in the first two minutes, away from home, sometimes that's not easy to recover from. But they did."
The Spartans (1-2) quickly found themselves down 1-0 after the Patriots (0-3-1) got a goal from Zoe Doherty in the third minute, but UNCG came roaring back to take control of the game.
Sendel, a transfer from Ohio State, scored the first goal of her UNCG career in the 11th minute, converting a Tinna Bergthorsdottir pass to pull the Spartans level.
Just 23 seconds later, freshman Ashley Stokes notched the first goal of her career, scoring on a one-time volley off a Sendel pass to make it 2-1 in the blink of an eye.
The 23-second spread between goals was just three seconds off the UNCG school record set in 1996.
Hein beat George Mason keeper Alex Bodenschatz and the clock for her first goal, eluding her defender and unleashing a 35-yard bomb into the upper 90 with just seven seconds left in the first half to push the Spartan lead to 3-1.
UNCG and Hein continued to pour it on to open the second half, as the Torrance, Calif., native gave the Spartans a three-goal cushion with her strike in the 47th minute. Sendel picked up another assist on the play, getting the ball to Kristin Player, who sent in a cross from the right wing for Hein. Hein banged it home for her fourth career multi-goal game.
"We talk so much about those moments in a game and how they've affected us negatively over the last couple of games," Nugent said, "and for us to get a goal the way we did at the end of the first half and then right away at the beginning of the second half to make it 3- and 4-1, those are great moments in a game to score."
Meanwhile, keeper Kelsey Kearney kept the Patriots at bay, making five saves on the evening to give her an even 200 for her career and make her just the fifth keeper in school history to reach the plateau.
Kearney made three first-half saves, including one when Mason earned back-to-back corner kicks in the 28th minute, and added two more in the second half.
Bodenschatz made five saves for the Patriots before being replaced by Lyndse Hokanson in the 52nd minute.
The Spartans outshot Mason 12-10 for the game, taking nine first-half attempts. Hein and Doherty share game-high honors with three each.
UNCG returns to action when it hosts No. 18/23 Tennessee at 2 p.m. at the UNCG Soccer Stadium. Admission is free.
UNCG 4, George Mason 1
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
UNCG................ 3 1 - 4
George Mason........ 1 0 - 1
1. 2:19 MASON Doherty, Zoe (1) (Clark, Nicole)
2. 10:29 UNCG Karin Sendel (1) (TinnaBergthorsdottir)
3. 10:52 UNCG Ashley Stokes (1) (Karin Sendel)
4. 44:53 UNCG Lauren Hein (1) (unassisted)
5. 46:10 UNCG Lauren Hein (2) (Karin Sendel;Kristin Player)
Shots: UNCG 12, George Mason 10; Saves: UNCG 5 (Kelsey Kearney 5), George Mason 5 (Bodenschatz, Alex 5); Corner kicks: George Mason 9, UNCG 4; Fouls: George Mason 6, UNCG 8
- UNCG -