UNCG Women’s Soccer entered last weekend on a terrible six match losing streak, their last win at Army more than a month ago. On the final Sunday of September, they opened up their Southern Conference (SoCon) schedule with a lost at Virginia Military Institute. Last Friday and Sunday, the hosted the Terriers of Wofford and the Paladins of Furman.
The Spartans had been on a two week away game streak, so let’s just say they were happy to be home on Friday. Coach Michael Coll mentioned that playing in front of the home crowd really helped the team out.
“It energizes them and gives them lots more confidence,” said coach Coll. “And it’s so much easier to play in front of people who are cheering for you instead of people who are screaming against you.”
The blue and gold started out the first half looking good, as they carried the momentum. However, by the end of the first half, Wofford had seized it going into halftime with a scoreless match. Right before halftime coach Coll mentioned that the Wofford girls “found their feet and got after it a little bit more and got some nice pressure on us.”
As the team went into halftime, they chatted about how to put pressure on the Wofford Terriers. Coll told the team that they needed to “start as quickly as possible and put the pressure on them and push the pace.” He needed the team to keep Wofford on their back foot so they could snatch as much momentum as they could going into the second half.
Throughout the game, especially in the second half, there were some points when Wofford looked bound to score or make something happen, the defense held strong, especially the goalkeeper Chloe Buehler. The team relied heavily on the defense in this game, and coach knew they would be up to the challenge. The efforts they made would be crucial to the game as a whole, as Chloe kept getting great saves and the defensive unit made some impressive tackles. Coll stated that “Wofford is a good team and they made a couple of good chances but the defense and Chloe kept them out.” Let’s give a large amount of credit to the defense for this 2OT draw.
Although they played a strong 110 minutes and a strong second half, the Lady Spartans just could not seal the victory. Coach Coll noticed some things that needed to be improved for Sunday’s game against Furman, but he also acknowledged what went well in the game too.
When talking about defensive strength, Coll definitely said that it was strong in the Wofford game. The spartans played a solid 110 minute defensive game. As for what needs to be improved, he just talked about the need to score a goal! “We’ve missed some really, really open chances this year, in lots of games, including tonight,” said Coll. “We had 2 really good open chances in the first half tonight, which we just need to take a little more composure and shooting into the net. We’re creating lots of chances, we just haven’t taken them in 6 games.”
As long as the Spartans can get that elusive goal, they will be back on track. Over these last 6 games they hadn’t scored at all, so once they do all will be well.
When considering these points in the Furman game that was on Sunday, October 2nd, one can say that they listened to what coach had to say. The blue and gold dominated Furman 4-0. The six match goalless streak ended off the foot of Freshman defender Maddie Hoffmann in the 11th minute of the match. Only three minutes into the second half, Melanie Spensiero, who assisted on the Simmons goal, got one of her own to bring the score up 2-0. Senior forward Diarra Simmons scored the final two goals in the game.
The win put the team on the win column in the SoCon standings, placing them in 7th place. The next two weeks will see the Spartans travel to four different SoCon rivals. On Friday night, East Tennessee State will host the Spartans before the blue and gold have to travel to Western Carolina Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.