The Braves set up defensively in their 2-0 win over Clayton State. The win was UNCP’s first conference victory of the season.PN Photo/Trevon Knight
Coming off of a very one-sided loss at third-ranked Columbus State, the women’s soccer team bounced back at home and scored their first Peach Belt Conference win of the season, beating Clayton State 2-0.
The Braves came out with a sense of urgency in the game, fresh off the Columbus State loss and also having recently lost to Flagler. The team recognized the danger of falling to 0-3 in conference play and played tough in a must-win game.
“Starting 0-2 is not something that we’re used to. We ran into Flagler and Columbus State, two of the best teams in the conference to start with after a three-week layoff. We have this game and seven more conference games, but we’re gonna take it one game at a time.” coach Lars Andersson said.
The Braves two goals of the contest came courtesy of senior forward Jillian Robson off assists from freshman Maya Grimes.
Jillian Robson sprints down the pitch. Robson scored both of the Braves’ goals in their 2-0 win.
PN Photo/Trevon Knight
The first came off a Grimes cross that settled in the box and allowed Robson to drill the ball past the keeper into the opposite side of the net on the ground. The second goal was set up similarly on another Grimes cross, with Robson this time putting the ball in the air to beat the keeper to the opposite corner and score once again.
Robson usually doesn’t lead the attack for the Braves, typically leaving the bulk of the scoring to players such as forwards Stacey Scott and Alexis Pittman but proved more than capable of stepping up in a different role against the Lochs.
“Jillian’s a player that’s been in and out of the starting lineup. She’s played [every position]. She has a very low-key personality. She almost looks embarrassed when she scores, but we love Jil and we’re okay with that. I couldn’t be Braves Show Glimmers of Hope in 51-7 Loss to Wingatehappier for her.” Andersson said of Robson.
Andersson also pointed out that Robson now actually ties for the team lead in goals for the season with three despite the constant lineup changes.
The shutout led by goalkeeper Gina Ryan was the Braves’ fourth of the young season. The team still has yet to lose a game at homewhere they have held opponents scoreless, a perfect 4-0 in such matchups.
“It’s a sign of a great team where you can have a bounce-back performance like this.” coach Andersson said of his team’s defense.
The team now looks to string together conference wins and make a run in the buildup to the PBC tournament.
“I feel very good about where we’re at. I feel very good about going forward as well. Last year we won the conference tournament as the fourth seed, so we gotta make sure we get in the tournament and we’ll figure things out.” Andersson said.