Soccer takes weekend road win, tie

by Staff Writer Matt Wilson

The Lions wrapped up a weekend on the road with a 4-3 win Sept. 21 at Valdosta State and a 2-2 draw Sept. 23 at West Georgia.

The game at Valdosta State found UNA trailing three times before finally pulling away in the 78th minute on a goal from Abbey Hellem.

“We showed that we have the heart and the passion to come back in a game like that against Valdosta, and that’s important going forward,” said senior Nikki Brown.

The Valdosta State Blazers opened the scoring in the 13th minute before UNA answered back four minutes later on a goal from Chloe Richards set up by Jo Chubb. The back and forth of the match continued as the Blazers went up 2-1 before Melanie Leonida scored the equalizer. The score was level at the halftime break.

In the 63rd minute of the match, the Blazers took a 3-2 lead, but Richards’ second goal — set up again by Chubb — brought the match level for a third time. This time the Lions would not look back.

“A loss or a tie in that game would have been bad for us,” Brown said.

In the 78th minute the Lions took the lead on Hellem’s first goal of the season.  Chubb ended the game with three assists.   

Sept. 23’s game at West Georgia saw the Lions jump out to a 2-0 lead at the half before the Wolves were able to pull level in the 69th minute.

Chloe Roberts opened the scoring in the 14th minute on a goal assisted by Brown and Jennifer Osmond. Just before the break Roberts scored again on another assist from Brown. Roberts now has 11 goals on the season and sits at 87 for her career.

West Georgia scored just after the restart and again in the 69th minute to force extra time.  Neither team scored in extra time, ending the game in a 2-2 draw.

“Coach (Graham Winkworth) says that 2-0 is the most dangerous score line because it can make a team comfortable,” Brown said. “I don’t think we were overconfident  — they just played well in the second half.  We need this to be our last wake-up call.”

UNA’s record moved to 5-1-1 overall and 2-1-1 in conference play.

The Lions host Christian Brothers Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.

UNA will be hosting a Pink Game Oct. 5 against Union at 7 p.m. The team will host an auction to raise money for breast cancer awareness.