USC Aiken women 3
No. 10 Wingate 3
The USC Aiken women’s soccer team rallied from two separate deficits en route to a 3-3 tie before a raucous crowd Thursday evening in the season-opening match for both teams.
Both squads are now 0-0-1 on the season.
“Tonight was an outstanding night for USCA women’s soccer,” head coach Sue Vodicka said. “We have a great team and everyone that played tonight did a great job. We wanted the win, but to battle back and tie a top-10 team is a good thing.”
The Pacers found themselves trailing 1-0 in the 16th minute, but junior Megan Smits blasted through the defense, swerving between Bulldogs before rocketing a shot past Ashlyn Hardie, tying the contest at the 23-minute mark.
Despite its best effort, USCA was unable to score again in the half as Wingate managed to net its second goal of the contest for a 2-1 edge at the break.
The Pacers fell behind 3-1 less than seven minutes into the second stanza. However, Vodicka’s team started stepping it up midway through the period. Although the possessions did not turn into goals, USCA had a boost in confidence by solid chances as Heaven Tylee, Olivia Stiltner and Sarah Moore made play after play.
After maintaining possession, the Pacers earned a corner kick in the 83rd minute. Jenna Beauregard strutted over to the flag and calmly laced the ball into the middle of the box, connecting with Hannah Allison’s head. Allison struck the ball perfectly as it connected with the back of the net, making it a 3-2 contest.
The Pacers continued to push forward in the waning minutes and with less than two minutes to play, a foul was called on Wingate. Caroline Gillespie struck it perfectly, connecting again with Allison for the equalizer.
The Bulldogs controlled the midfield in the first overtime session, but neither team managed to get a shot off. The lone corner kick of the period, however, was taken by Beauregard in the 95th minute.
Wingate committed two early fouls in the second half, which eventually led to a corner kick by Smits at the 102:38 mark. The ball sailed to the back side of the box and Kim Beyer managed to get a foot on it, but it was not enough.
The Bulldogs quickly countered with a shot from Jade Montgomery, but she was off target.
With just 45 seconds to play, Allison once again lined up off a set piece and drilled a shot off her head to the bottom right of the goal only to be turned away at the last second.
The Pacers tallied 17 shots to 15 by the No. 10 team. Vodicka’s team also controlled the possession, earning eight corner kicks to five by the visitors.
Rookie Nicole Cranny started the game between the pipes and earned a save while playing the entire 110 minutes.
The Pacers return to action Saturday at 6 p.m., when they host Emmanuel (Ga.) in a non-conference affair.
Midland Valley 3
Evans (Ga.) 1
Midland Valley won its season opener in a 25-18, 25-22, 19-25, 25-18 win over Evans.
Madilyn Reed led the Mustangs with 19 kills, 11 digs and four aces, and Sam Foster had 38 assists. Summer Bowden added 10 kills, and Gracie Gunter chipped in 10 digs.
The Mustangs will face Region 5-AAA foe Gilbert on Tuesday.
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