UNA soccer bounces back defeating Shorter 4-1

After losing its first game of the season to Lee University on Sept. 21, the UNA soccer team bounced back to defeat Shorter University Sept. 24, 4-1.

The halftime score was tied at a lone one goal, but the Lions exploded in the second half to score three goals and secure the victory.

“It was nice to bounce back against a team that we knew were going to test us,” said head coach Chris Walker.

“We had a 15-minute lapse at the end of the first half where we let them back in it, but due to our own mistakes. The second half we came out and played like we can play.”

Junior forward Chloe Richards led the way offensively by scoring two goals for the Lions, both in the second half.

“She’s (Richards) hungry. She wants to score and she enjoys being out there,” Walker said. “She’s only happy when she’s scoring goals and she creates her own chances.”

UNA (5-1-1, 2-1) had only five shots in the first half and 16 in the second. The defense held the Hawks to just six total shots all game.

“The first 15 minutes of the first half we came out good but we just died down (towards the end of the half),” Richards said. “The second half we came out more aggressive we pressed the ball and moved it quicker. That made a difference.”

Freshman goalkeeper Madeline Fancher got her first start of the season in place of injured starter Rachel Beninati. Fancher clenched two saves for the game.

“She did really well. She transferred in from the University of Tennessee so she’s played at the SEC level,” Walker said. “She knows what she’s doing and she’s confident.”

The Lions first got on the scoreboard after sophomore midfielder Eleanor Costello scored from 15 yards out off an assist from freshman forward Beatriz Fernandes.

Freshman forward Rachel Dillard recorded her first goal of the season as she scored in the waning seconds of the game off an assist from senior midfielder Danielle Scanlon.

Walker said he was glad to see the young players come off the bench to get some Gulf South Conference playing time towards the end of the game.

“The girls work hard in practice and their reward is, even if it’s just five minutes, make it the best five minutes you can get,” he said.

The Lions’ next game will be Sept. 30 at 4 p.m. at Spring Hill College in Mobile. The next home game will be Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. against Valdosta State University.