Soccer team nets shutout win against Lee

by Associate Sports Editor Kadin Pounders

The UNA soccer team shut out conference rival Lee University 3-0 at home Sunday night, giving the Lions the program’s first victory over the Flames.

UNA knew coming into the game they would need to play a full 90 minutes to beat the Lee squad.

“(Lee) is the only team in the conference that this group, together, hasn’t beaten,” said head coach Chris Walker. “Tonight, I think, is the best we’ve played this year and 90 minutes against a really good team that will still be there in postseason.”

The matchup with Lee was a pivotal one for UNA. The Flames were the preseason favorite to win the conference. The win gives the Lions even more confidence going forward.

“Now we are the favorite,” said sophomore forward Beatriz Fernandes. “We’re building up. We’re getting more and more confident. This was a great win.”

The Lions were able to get on the board early which was key for UNA. Fernandes put the ball in the back of the net in the 16th minute to give UNA the lead and her first goal of the season.

“(Fernandes) doesn’t get near as much credit as she deserves,” Walker said. “As hard as she works, she deserves to get a goal or two.”

The Lions took the 1-0 lead into halftime but came out in the second half unsatisfied.

Freshman forward Kylie Huey found the left post for an unassisted goal in the 61st minute, and 14 minutes later, senior forward Chloe Richard added another goal to cap the scoring.

“We like where we’re at,” Walker said. “We’ve got so many young players mixing in with returning players, but it’s coming together nicely now and hopefully, we can carry it on.”

Huey and junior midfielder Ele Costello finished with one assist apiece. Sophomore goalkeeper Shelby Thornton recorded four saves.

The win improves No. 14 UNA’s record to 5-0-1 overall and 2-0 in the GSC. The Lions next game is Sept. 23 on the road against Shorter.