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SCC soccer teams open NAIA play

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By The Staff

Special to The Sun

SCC Sports Information

The St. Catharine College mens’ and women’s soccer teams made their debuts in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics on Friday, Aug. 29.

The women’s team opened the season in style, winning its opener over Kentucky Christian University with a 4-0 shutout. The win was the first in the season opener for the Lady Patriots in five years.

In the early going, the play was fairly even, with both teams probing the others defense. KCU would have the best early chance, playing the ball deep into SCC’s penalty area. The Patriot defense withstood, and slowly, SCC began to take over the game. SCC continually worked the ball deep into KCU’s half and peppered the goal with shots. Lady Knights Goalkeeper Taylor Draper stood firm and made save after save until Ashley “Lilbit” Thompkins finished off a shot to give SCC a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute of the half. With Draper working overtime and their defense on its heals, KCU was able to hold the Patriots off the rest of the half.

After halftime, the Lady Patriots resumed their attack on the KCU goal. Led by Thompkins and midfielders Kara Morehead and Marissa Hibbs, SCC managed 48 shots for the game. Draper finished with 37 saves in the goal for KCU. Thompkins added a second in the 65th minute and Megan Metcalf finished off the scoring in the 80th minute to give SCC the win. SCC goalkeeper Lee Ann Walker finished the game with four saves to secure a shutout in her first collegiate game.

The Lady Patriots will return to action on Monday, Sept. 1 at Cumberland University (Tennessee) and will host Freed Hardeman at home on Tuesday, Sept. 2.

The SCC men’s team started the season off with a well-played but disappointing loss at Kentucky Christian. The Patriots came out strong and pushed the ball into the KCU half. KCU battled back and the game quickly became and end to end battle. SCC struck first with a low cross from Will Meza that was deflected into the goal by a KCU defender. Several minutes later, KCU evened the score with a soft header from about 18 yards out that barely made it over the outstretched hands of onrushing SCC keeper Will “Colonel” Johnston and dribbled into the goal. SCC freshman forward Orest Arendacz had two excellent chances before the end of the half, hitting the post on one, and then actually hitting both goalposts off of one free kick. The halftime score would remain knotted at 1-1.

The second half saw SCC take control of the game while KCU began to play a much more physically aggressive style. With around 20 minutes remaining, a series of controversial and questionable calls by the officials would utimately decide the outcome of the game. SCC midfielder Don Russell was hit in the head from behind on consecutive header attempts, and finally after a third offense, the referee called the foul and issued a caution to a KCU player. Shortly thereafter, in a crowded box, SCC headed a ball over the goalkeeper to take a 2-1 lead. It was not to be, however, as the referee disallowed the goal, stating that the Knights’ goalkeeper had been fouled on the play. Less than three minutes later, another controversial pushing call by the referee resulted in a penalty kick for KCU. The Knights scored on the penalty, effectively turning a 2-1 lead for SCC into a 2-1 lead for KCU.

SCC had several more chances to even the game in the last 13 minutes but could not come up with a goal. SCC outshot KCU 23-15 for the game but lost a heartbreaker by the same 2-1 score.

The Patriots next play on Monday, Sept. 1 at Cumberland University (Tennessee) and then open at home on Tuesday, Sept. 2 against Freed Hardeman.