Lions stride past Blazers on senior day

Senior Alyssa Bova (14 white) prepares to bicycle kick against Valdosta State Oct. 23 in Florence. The Lions put on a dominant performance en route to a 5-0 victory on senior day. 

The UNA soccer team trounced the Valdosta State Blazers 5-0 in the home finale for the Lions Oct. 23.

The game also marked “senior night” for UNA, and the seniors shone bright in the game. Each of the Lions’ five goals all had involvement from seniors, with four goals and two assist combined.

“It was a good way to bounce back from the West Georgia game,” said UNA head coach Chris Walker. “It was a nice day for the seniors to come out and perform well. I thought we all did really well tonight. It’s nice to score a bunch of goals and create lots more chances.”

Senior midfielder Eleanor Costello led the Lions with her first hat trick of the season and an assist on defender, and fellow senior, Susan Lang’s first goal of the season.

The Lions capitalized on their 27 shot attempts with 16 shots on goal.

In addition to the three goals from Costello and one from Lang, sophomore Kylie Huey added a score with an assist from senior defender Alyssa Bova. That raises Huey’s goal total to nine on the year, a team high.

Costello said there were mixed feelings about today’s game after defeating a conference rival, knowing this was her last game at the Bill Jones Athletic Complex.

“It felt amazing to win today,” Costello said. “Especially because my parents came from England to watch this. I would say this is bittersweet, but it’s not. It’s all bitter. This has been my home for the past four years. I’m just grateful to UNA for giving me this opportunity.”

UNA now sits at 6-4 in conference play and are in seventh place in the standings. The top six teams will advance to the conference tournament.

The Lions close out the regular season with two key road games that will decide their conference tournament fate, as they travel to Christian Brothers Oct. 26 and Union Oct. 29. Both teams, along with UNA, are still fighting for a spot in the tournament.