UNCP To Face USC Aiken In Mid-Week Conference Doubleheader
PEMBROKE – The UNCP soccer squads will battle Peach Belt Conference rival USC Aiken in a mid-week doubleheader on Wednesday at Varsity Grounds in Pembroke with the women's game starting at 5 p.m. and the men's game following the conclusion of the women's game.
The UNCP Lady Braves (7-2-1, 2-2-0 PBC) went 2-0-0 last week with a 2-0 win over Belmont Abbey on Thursday in Belmont before returning to Varsity Grounds in Pembroke on Saturday to capture a 6-0 win over Georgia Southwestern.
The win over the Lady 'Canes got UNCP's record back to.500 in the conference and it is now 2-2-0 in league play. Freshman Michelle Hernandez and junior Ashley Anctil scored goals for UNCP in the 2-0 win over Belmont Abbey on Friday while sophomore goalkeeper Britney Bennett recorded her 14th career shutout.
In UNCP's 6-0 win over Georgia Southwestern, junior Andrea Collén notched her first career hat trick with goals three, four and five in the matchup, while Cassie DeQueiroz, Fanny Forsman and Julia Haselbeck each recorded one.
UNCP is tied for ninth in the nation with an average of 3.20 goals per game while also sitting 23rd in the nation with a .0567 goals against average. The Lady Braves are also tied for 18th nationally with a 0.60 shutout percentage and they are 14th overall with a 0.895 shutout percentage.
Collén leads the team with seven goals on the season and is tied for 27th nationally with 18 points. Her seven goals and 18 points are both tied for second in the conference. Sophomore Amalia Arvidsson is second on the squad in points (11), assists (three) and goals (four).
Bennett went 2-0-0 in the pipes last week and recorded four saves on 12 shots faced over the course of 135 minutes in goal. She is currently second in the league with a .887 saves percentage (14th in the nation), second in the league with a 0.61 goals against average, and second in the league with six goals against on the season.
The Pacers (3-5-0, 0-3-0 PBC) are currently last in the conference standings and have lost five straight contests after starting the season 3-0-0.
Caroline Gillespie leads the team with three goals scored on the year, while the team as a whole has recorded just six through eight games. Kim Beyer, Nicollete Rigon and Jameela Bryant have each recorded one goal for the squad, while Allie Edens has posted a 3-4-0 record in goal with a 1.50 goals against average and 29 saves.
UNCP has dominated the all-time series to the tune of a 9-0-1 record, including nine straight wins, and the only tie in the series came back in 2002. Last year, UNCP captured a 3-2 victory over the Pacers in Aiken, S.C.
The Braves stunned PBC opponent Georgia Southwestern in UNCP's only game of the week as they shut out the Hurricanes, 2-0, on Saturday afternoon at Varsity Grounds. UNCP began its scoring campaign with two goals less than 15 seconds apart in the 31st minute as senior defender Stuart Rodgers captured the game-winning goal after receiving a pass from outside the box which bounced off several defenders before landing in front of his feet for an open line to the back of the goal.
Moments after regrouping on the field from Rodger's goal, Sean Hoek made his way downfield and posted the second goal of the game from 25 yards out in the center of the box. The Braves tallied 23 shots with 11 on goal while holding the Hurricanes to a mere three shots with one on goal as goalkeeper Ryan Hanson grabbed one save in his 90 minutes of action to post his second shutout of the season.
The Pacers could not overcome a strong Montevallo start in a 4-0 loss in PBC action on Sunday in its only game of the week. USC Aiken managed only two shots in the first half, but the Pacers constantly pressured the Falcon's net in the second half to finish with one more shot than Montevallo, 7-6, during the second stanza. Overall, Montevallo owned a 13-9 shot advantage in the matchup. The Pacers enter Wednesday's game with a five-game winless streak along with a winless record in conference action.
UNCP and USC Aiken will meet for the 22nd time on Wednesday in a series in a series controlled by the Braves. The Black and Gold will bring a 15-6-1 series advantage going into the game, as well as a four-game unbeaten streak. Last season, Brett Luccia scored the lone goal of the night for UNCP on a penalty kick attempt in the 37th minute before Robert Bolender punched a game-tying penalty kick attempt past UNCP goalkeeper Ryan Hanson in the 80th minute as the Braves and Pacers battled to a 1-1 stalemate at Pacer Pit.