By Terrence Hinds, Staff Writer
Published in print Aug. 27, 2014
It was a tough weekend for UNCG’s women’s soccer team whose season began on Friday night against Charlotte.
After facing the 49ers, the Blue and Gold then traveled to Athens, GA for a Sunday afternoon match.
In each game, the Spartans battled and fought hard but were on the receiving end of two losses to begin the year.
Opening the season in front of a crowd of 564 fans at the UNCG Soccer Stadium, the Spartans lost a tight 1-0 game.
A close, defensive struggle for the majority of the match, both teams combined to save a total of seven shots.
In the closely contested opener, the game showed signs of physicality as Spartan defender Alex Thomas was issued a yellow card in the 79th minute of the match.
Unfortunately for the Blue and Gold, in the 81st minute of the game, forward Martha Thomas scored for Charlotte which ended up being the deciding factor of a 49ers win and a Spartan defeat.
Though the game was primarily a defensive struggle, the Spartans did have ample opportunities to score throughout the game.
Finishing with nine shot attempts in the match, the Spartans attempted one less shot than the victor Charlotte.
For the Spartans, one of these chances to score was through the play of forward Chesney White who almost broke through for the Blue and Gold but was stopped by 49ers goal keeper Annika McHenry multiple times as none of White’s four shot attempts were able to breakthrough the net.
Redshirt freshman goal keeper Chloe Buehler had a solid game in her collegiate debut for the Spartans as she made three saves but was topped by the 49ers goal keeper. McHenry made four saves for Charlotte and held on keep the shutout for her team.
The Spartans though kept fighting through the match as White attempted multiple times to provide a spark for the struggling Spartans offense.
In the 28th minute of the first half, White’s header went off the left post and in the 33rd minute she had another shot but was also saved by goal stopper McHenry.
Sunday, the Spartans traveled to the Georgia to face the Bulldogs. Unfortunately the early offensive struggles continued as the Spartans were shut out for the second straight game. The Blue and Gold held on as much as possible before the flood gates were released by the SEC Powerhouse onto the Blue and Gold.
The game was scoreless until the 63th minute when Georgia sophomore Marion Crowder broke through the UNCG defense and scored inside the box to give Georgia a 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs scored another goal off of a penalty kick from Gabby Seiler in the 70th minute. The final goal of the match occurred just six minutes later when Bria Washington scored her first goal of the season after a pass from Shayna Raekelboom to push Georgia’s lead to 3-0.
Georgia out shot the Spartans 12-2 in the first half, though only five were actually on frame.
The Blue and Gold did have an early chance in the 13th minute to perhaps set the game’s tone as freshman Regan Lehman played a great ball inside the box allowing junior Chesney White to get her head to it but the Georgia goalkeeper made the save.
Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Chloe Buehler had an impressive first half making five saves for the Spartams.However, the Bulldogs offense just became too much for UNCG in the second half.
The Spartans will look to rebound from their home loss with a match this Friday evening against the Army at 6pm which is then followed by the men’s soccer team regular season opener against Campbell.