Lady Eagles tie Ala.-Huntsville in soccer season opener
JEFFERSON CITY — The University of Alabama-Huntsville women’s soccer team caught Carson-Newman early, but never seriously contended for another goal. The Lady Eagles even the score in the second half but after two overtimes had to settle for a 1-1 tie with the Lady Chargers on McCown Field Friday.
“We’re a young team and this isn’t the best Carson-Newman side we could have fielded today, I think,” C-N coach Richard Moodie said. “We had a lot of our players step up. It’s great to see some new faces in the squad. We’ve got to grow and learn with each other each and every game.”
In all the Lady Eagles were missing eight players either due to injury of suspension from the season opener. And while the team taking on Trevecca Nazerene next Wednesday may look different, the C-N women that played Friday were a fast and aggressive bunch that kept UAH on its heels for most of the last 85 minutes of play.
“There were a lot of positives to take out of the game,” Moodie said. “Gabbie Gianeselli and Mikayla Gregg had fantastic games as wingers. We have a lot of forwards up top that can cause some problems.”
Gianeselli put the most pressure on UAH’s goalkeeper, Iris Gunnarsdottir, in the game. Gianeselli shot seven times, with two shots on goal. Gianeselli’s assist in the 51st minute to Gregg helped C-N tie the game early in the second period. Gianeselli sent a cross over to Gregg who finished it off to even the score.
The Lady Eagles (0-0-1) opened the game down and UAH (0-0-1) caught them with a quick goal in the first four minutes. Alexandra Klein sent in a corner kick that Klaire Fhillips cleaned up and into the right side of the net. It was the only bad play for Carson-Newman goalkeeper Katy Hill, who finished with 13 saves.
“We weren’t organized enough and they came rushing out of their blocks,” Moodie said. “We were a bit nervous, but then we put our foot on the ball. That goal woke us up. It shouldn’t have taken that, but they caught us off guard.”
C-N had its chances to take control of the game. Down 1-0 in the first period, Liz Munguia came free on the left side and booted what looked like a sure goal. Gunnarsdottir dived to the right and barely got her fingers on the ball to swat it away in a spectacular save that might be hard to match for the rest of the season.
“Lizette had the volley,” Moodie said. “It was a fantastic kick and great save. You’d be more worried if you came into these games and you didn’t create chances and score goals.”
C-N put up 17 shots with six on goal. The Lady Eagles managed just one shot in the two overtime periods. UAH had 20 shots with 14 on goal. Munguia shot three times with two on goal.
By Adam Greene, Tribune Correspondent