Spartans rally twice for wild 4-2 win over The Citadel
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Kristin Player and Ashley Stokes scored a minute apart in the last 10 minutes of play as UNCG rallied from two deficits to win a wild contest against The Citadel on Friday, 4-2 at Washington Light Infantry Field.
With the score tied at 2 and overtime looming, Player converting a Stokes pass at the 83:32 mark for what would prove to be her second straight game-winning goal and third this season.
Player returned the favor to Stokes exactly one minute later, as the freshman banged home a Player pass for her second goal of the season to give UNCG (5-7-0, 4-1-0 Southern Conference) some breathing room. Karin Sendel also picked up an assist on the play.
"I've got to give The Citadel a lot of credit," UNCG coach Steve Nugent said. "They're a very good team. I know it's going to sound like a cliché, but I just want to start by saying that (Bulldogs coach) Bob Winch does an amazing job with that group. They are a very good team. We got a win today versus a very good soccer team, and we had to come back twice to do it, so I'm very proud of our team."
The game got off to a fast start, with Amy Loughran taking a pass from Mariana Garcia and banking a shot in off the post to give the Bulldogs (4-7-2, 2-2-1 SoCon) a 1-0 lead in just the seventh minute.
The Spartans quickly countered, drawing a penalty kick off a corner kick that saw the Bulldogs' Hannah Warne sent off for a hand ball on the goal line to prevent a goal in the eighth minute. Redshirt junior defender Stephanie Partenheimer put the kick away for her first career goal to tie the score.
"Stephanie's a very mentally strong player, and that's what you want in that situation," Nugent said. "We know that going into every game. Her name goes up on the board, and she's going to take our PK."
Now playing a man down, The Citadel reclaimed the lead just moments later when Vanessa Aponte converted a penalty kick of her own in the 11th minute. Garcia drew a foul in the box to set Aponte up for the score.
Once again, UNCG had a quick answer, with Kaytee O'Brien scoring off a Casey Godwin pass in the 16th minute to forge a 2-all tie. Both teams scored twice within their first three shot attempts on the afternoon, with four balls finding the back of the net in a span of just nine minutes, 15 seconds.
The teams settled in after that, with neither side scoring again until Player's strike in the 84th minute.
UNCG keeper Kelsey Kearney picked up the win in the net, making a pair of saves for her 50th career win. Sarah Katchen got the start in goal for the Bulldogs, allowing two goals before being relieved by Laura Serafino at halftime. Serafino took the loss, allowing a pair of goals and making a save.
With the win, UNCG remained perfect all-time against the Bulldogs, moving to 11-0-0 in the series.
The Spartans remain in Charleston for their next contest, against College of Charleston on Sunday at 1 p.m.
UNCG 4, The Citadel 2
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
UNCG................ 2 2 - 4
The Citadel......... 2 0 - 2
1. 6:36 CIT Amy Loughran (3) (Mariana Garcia)
2. 7:49 UNCG Stephanie Partenheimer (1)
3. 10:24 CIT Vanessa Aponte (6)
4. 15:51 UNCG Kaytee O'Brien (1) (Casey Godwin)
5. 83:32 UNCG Kristin Player (5) (Ashley Stokes)
6. 84:32 UNCG Ashley Stokes (2) (Kristin Player;Karin Sendel)
Shots: UNCG 14, The Citadel 12; Saves: UNCG 2 (Kelsey Kearney 2), The Citadel 1 (Laura Serafino 1); Corner kicks: UNCG 2, The Citadel 4; Fouls: UNCG 15, The Citadel 7
- UNCG -