HICKORY, NC - The Pfeiffer University women’s soccer team (0-1-0) embarked on their 2013 season surrendering 1-0 in a hard-fought contest with Newberry College (1-0-0). The match was close in its entirety with Newberry only enjoying a one shot lead over the Lady Falcons 14-13.
The opening frame saw Pfeiffer jump out to a swift and measured attack on offense, with early pressure on Newberry’s cage from junior Leticia Patino and sophomore Katlyn Stevens. Pfeiffer continued the pressure on Newberry throughout the first half and following back-to-back shots by senior Mandi Roan that each narrowly missed their mark, the Lady Falcons went to the half with a 4-2 lead in the shots column and 0-0 draw on the scoreboard.
In the first ten minutes of the second half, Newberry peppered freshman Falcons goalkeeper Kate Halligan with six straight shots on goal. Halligan made several stops in that span, with only a few shots from Newberry missing their target. Pfeiffer responded swiftly to the attack however with two quick shots in the 58th minute, one by junior midfielder Kayla Rodriguez and the other coming from freshman newcomer Brae Buster.
The lone goal of the match would come in the 62nd minute off an unassisted attack by Newberry midfielder Gabrielle Brodie. Following a defensive clear, Brodie received a through ball pass from her back line and carried it alone down the left side of the field into Pfeiffer’s defensive third. Maneuvering past a bank of Pfeiffer defenders, Brodie then slipped a shot off the inside of her foot just past Halligan and into the Lady Falcon’s net.
Following Newberry’s score, Pfeiffer finished the match with a flurry of well executed and highly contested attacks. The game was hard-fought and physical to its last minute with Newberry leading the way in the foul column 12-8. Both net-minders finished the match with seven saves apiece and Roan led all players with four shots on goal.
The Lady Falcons return to the pitch on Sunday when they take on Lenoir-Rhyne at 3 p.m. in their final match of the Lenoir-Rhyne Classic.