The Mercer University women’s soccer team is off to a successful start this 2013 season. With one exhibition game and two contests behind them the team shows promise for another winning season ahead.
On Aug. 13 the Bears opened the season with an exhibition match at Bear Field. They defeated Eastern Kentucky University in a 3-1 victory.
The first goal was scored by freshman, Haleigh Svede. Svede scored the goal early in the game at the 13 minute mark.
Junior Lauren Gassie and senior Sadie Curry scored the next two goals for the Bears.
The first official game counting towards the Bears record this season took place Saturday Aug. 25 at Alabama A&M. The Bears took a huge 10-0 victory over the Bulldogs.
This match was unusual and coached by Graduate Assistant Sara Elliot. Elliot had to fill the shoes of Head Coach Tony Economopoulos after he received a red card in the championship game against Florida Gulf Coast last Fall.
“It’s always good to start off the season with a win. And in a game like that, a lot of people get minutes.” said Elliot after the victory.
Eight players contributed goals to the defeat over Alabama A&M. Junior Tess Patton scored the first goal early in the contest. Washida Blackman put one in the back of the net not too long after. Brianna Stampler, Katelyn Dinopoulos, Mackenzie Stewart all contributed goals to the effort as well. Both Annie Barrett and Sydney Brodgen tallied two goals in the match.
Goalkeepers Maggie Cropp, Nikki Atkinson, and Cristina Mursuli all saw the field in the contest. Atkinson and Mursuli both contributed saves to the win.
Patton commented on exceptional shutout.
“A win like this was good to start out with because it helps us build confidence, especially the freshmen. They got to play a lot and prove to Coach [Economopoulos] that they can really compete at this level.”
This 10-0 victory is the most goals a Mercer team has scored since 2004.
The Mercer Bears challenged the Georgia State Panthers Sunday Aug. 24. This hard fought game ended in a 2-2 tie. The regular season home opener served as an exciting start to the Bears season.
In the last seconds of the game, junior transfer Sarah Daane scored the tying goal from 30 yards out.
“It isn’t over until it’s over,” said Daane on her game-tying goal. “There were four seconds left and I knew I had to make it.”
The Panthers took an early lead in the match but Patton scored on a corner kick from Gassie 14 minutes into the match.
Early in the second half GSU scored their second goal, maintaining the lead a majority of the game. Although the Panthers held the lead, the Bears battled back and out-shot the opponent in the second half, leading to the tie goal by Daane.
The first few outings of the Bears are telling of an exciting and successful season to come.
Mercer Soccer travels to Athens, Ga. this weekend to take on an in-state rival at the University of Georgia. The Bears return home to Bear Field Sunday September 8 at 1 p.m. to challenge the Tennessee Volunteers.