The Braves scored the first two goals of the match in less than 20 minutes to take control. PN Photo/Trevon Knight
Senior forward Stacey Scott scored three goals and UNCP’s home shutout streak extended to five games as the Braves dominated USC Aiken at Lumber River EMC, winning 5-0 on October 15.
UNCP jumped out on their opponents early, scoring their first two goals in less than 20 minutes of play.
Scott got off to a particularly fast start, scoring the first goal off a ground pass from teammate Christine Rolfes into the penalty area.
The score came just three ticks under ten minutes into the match. Just eight minutes later, Scott followed with her second goal off the assist from Katy Ryan to make it 2-0 and ensure the team was playing with a lead the whole way.
The scoring slowed down for the rest of the first half before Scott got things going again for UNCP with a tap-in goal assisted by Rolfes to give Scott a third goal and her first-career hat trick for the night.
“Stacey is an important part of what we do...She is a standout player, not only in the Peach Belt [conference] but on the national level as well. There’s something special about being able to say you scored a hat-trick in college and she deserves every bit of it...Every team needs a couple of players that are big-time goal scorers,” head coach Lars Andersson said about Scott’s achievement.
Bree Mason and Jillian Robson added one insurance goal each late in the second half to push the score to 5-0 as the team never let up despite holding a big lead.
“One of the things we talked about in the preseason...was the fact that we needed to score more goals...We won a lot of games [last year] by a one goal margin. We’re too good, too deep, and too talented not to score more goals. It’s great to see that we’re scoring more, getting goals from a number of players and assists from a number of players. I think that’s a great sign going forward,” Andersson said of the team’s offensive effort in the game.
The Braves continue to play lights-out defense at home where they’ve outscored opponents now 17-0 on the year. Goalkeeper Gina Ryan recorded seven more saves as the Braves never really appeared out of control in the defensive half.
Andersson acknowledged UNCP’s prowess at home defensively, but also hinted that there may be a little magic at play lending itself to the undefeated streak.
“There’s a lot of theories on that, the idea of home-field advantage... LR EMC stadium since its inception last year has been a special place for us. If there are any secrets in this place, I’m not sharing,” Andersson joked.