(Photo: UNCP Athletics) Stacey Scott (23) scored two goals for UNCP in their win over Georgia Southwestern
“The minute you take an opponent lightly in the PBC, you will be punished for it.”
UNCP women’s soccer head coach Lars Andersson understands how important it is to play at a high level in every Peach Belt Conference matchup. Georgia Southwestern is more familiar with the program’s commitment to that principle than anyone else.
The Braves (5-3, 3-1 PBC) remained undefeated in their all-time series against the Hurricanes through twelve meetings after the teams faced off on Saturday afternoon. A pair of goals from Stacey Scott helped UNCP earn a 3-0 victory at Lumbee River EMC stadium.
The hosts were dominant in all phases of the game, holding the Canes (0-7, 0-3) to just one shot while firing 26 of their own. The Braves also earned plenty of chances to score with seven corner kicks in comparison to none for the visitors.
One of those corner kicks put the Braves ahead early. Kristina Stevenson’s kick in the 23rd minute set Scott up for a header that got past Georgia Southwestern goalkeeper Sammie Conley.
Scott’s second goal, her third of the season, came in the 62nd minute. Scott was able to find an opening in front of the goal with assists from Alexis Pittman and Shannon O’Neill.
Redshirt junior Kimsey Collins notched the first goal of her career in the 89th minute. Jillian Robson picked up an assist on the play.
It was a significant achievement for a player who has been dealing with adversity since the earliest stages of her collegiate career.
“When [Collins] first came here as a freshman, she redshirted because she had torn her ACL her senior year of high school,” Andersson said. “It took a while for her to get back into things, but she’s finally playing without a knee brace and her speed is better and her touch is excellent.”
“Kimsey is a very cerebral kid and a very cerebral player. She understands the game.”
Gina Ryan tallied just over 65 minutes between the posts for UNCP, but the sophomore did not face a shot in that span. The only attempt from the Canes was saved by her substitute, Courtney Almon.
Scott led the Braves with five shots, two of which were on target. Rilee Seering attempted four shots for the hosts.
Shatyriah Crawford was credited with the Canes’ only shot attempt, a kick from the left side of the goal near the 71st minute. Conley finished with 11 saves.
“I’m proud of the girls,” Andersson said. “They had a very professional approach to the game. The game plan was great. We got a little frustrated in the beginning, but we stayed with the game plan and it payed off in the end.”
The all-time series between UNCP and Georgia Southwestern has routinely lacked parity. The Braves hold a 57-2 advantage in goals scored through the 12 contests.
UNCP is slated to hit the road on Oct. 2 to take on Converse before traveling to Francis Marion for a match with the Patriots on Oct. 4. They return to Pembroke on Oct. 11 to take on No. 11 Flagler.
Brandon Tester directs sports coverage at the Pine Needle. You can follow him on Twitter: @Tester_Brandon