UNA soccer shuts out first two opponents of season

UNA soccer faced two different teams this past week but the results were the same.

The Lions won both games by a score of 3-0. UNA defeated Tennessee Wesleyan College Sept. 8 and beat McKendree University Sept. 4.

For both games, the Lions were led by its defense and junior forward Chloe Richards.

“The best thing so far is the two zeros that have gone on there (scoreboard),” said coach Chris Walker. “Defensively, this is something we worked on, and we have a lot of leadership back there on defense.”

The defense held Tennessee Wesleyan to just one shot at the goal all game while UNA attempted 27.

The Lions got on the board early as Richards made two goals within the first four minutes of the game.

“I wasn’t happy with the way we started the first game of the season, but tonight we came out ready to play,” Walker said.

So far Richards has made every goal for the Lions this season.

“All credit to Chloe,” Walker said. “She’s worked super hard in the spring (and) the summer, and it’s starting to pay off. She really works hard and creates chances for herself.”

The six goals by Richards this season put her tied for eighth in all-time career goals at UNA with 21.

Richards said she credits her teammates for setting her up for good looks at the goal.

“I spoke to (defender) Alyssa Bova just minutes before she made the pass about how I wanted it, and she pinpointed it exactly how I wanted it,” she said. “Having teammates that can place balls like that makes my job a lot easier.”

Against McKendree all the scoring was in the first half, as the second half was a defensive stalemate.

Freshman midfielder Morgan Brown said the team’s hard work in this game was the key to victory.

“We out-worked them and that’s overall what got us the win tonight,” she said.

For Richards’ performance the first two games she was named Gulf South Conference Women’s Soccer Player of the Week.

UNA plays at Georgia College Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m. The next home game is Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. against Shorter University.