Two Second-Half Goals Lift Trojans Past Mars HillOctober 7, 2012
ANDERSON, S.C. – Senior forward Jessica Kleinberg recorded her third game-winning goal of the season and added an assist, as the Anderson women’s soccer team earned a 2-0 shutout past visiting Mars Hill in South Atlantic Conference action Saturday afternoon at Trojan Stadium.
Battling for position in the league as the conference slate moved past the halfway mark, the Trojans moved up one spot to fourth in the SAC standings. Anderson (5-4-2, 3-1-1 SAC) snapped a three-match winless streak, while Mars Hill (4-8, 1-4 SAC) had its losing streak extended to four matches, having dropped three of the last four by one goal.
“We have to give credit to Mars Hill, they worked very hard today and made it very tough for us in the first half,” said Anderson head coach Samar Azem. “They are a well-coached team and that's certainly apparent in their organization. I am proud of our girls for getting the win and the shutout, especially after two losses and a tie. It's nice to come back and get a conference win at home and a shutout.”
The Anderson defense posted yet another stellar outing, notching its seventh clean sheet of the season and limiting the Lions to three shots on goal on the afternoon.
The Trojans threatened to get on the scoreboard in the 26th minute, but freshman midfielder Chelsea Hamrick’s shot from nearly point-blank range was deflected and AU was unable to capitalize on the opportunity.
Eleven minutes later, it was Mars Hill’s turn to pressure, as junior defender Cara Woolford chipped an attempt just in front of the Trojans’ goal that appeared to be just high enough to slip into the net, but Anderson junior keeper Kaitlyn Neipp was just able to get a hand on the ball and misdirect the shot and the AU defense managed to clear the ball from the crowd in front of the net.
Kleinberg found the back of the net with the first goal of the contest in the 70th minute, as freshman midfielder Anna Turner found the Hamilton, Ohio native in the left corner of the box.
Less than eight minutes later, it was Kleinberg’s turn to assist, as she dribbled from the right side and crossed to freshman Chelsea Hamrick, who finished with her third score of the season.
The Trojans out-shot Mars Hill, 12-5, on the afternoon while holding a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks. Neipp played the full 90 minutes between the pipes and garnered three saves for the win, while senior Chelsea Parker recorded a pair of saves for the Lions and suffered the loss.
“After we made a few tactical changes in the second half and had a good talk with our girls, we came out with a lot more focus at what we wanted to accomplish tactically,” added Azem.”I have to give our girls a lot of credit, no matter how tough we are on them and no matter what the circumstances, they always rise to the challenges we put in front of them and they did that today in the second half. Once we refocused at halftime, I was proud of the way we began connecting passes and moving off the ball well. We certainly showed more organization defensively and most of all not just putting ourselves in front of goal for solid chances but finishing them, too.
I was especially proud of our captains, Adrienne and Summer, for showing a lot of leadership today through both example and vocally, and the team was definitely right behind them. I've also put a lot of weight on our senior's shoulders and in the second half especially today every single one of them made an impact and showed the culture of this program and what we are about. I an definitely very proud as a coach. Moving forward we are excited and we just need to focus on approaching the game with a 90-minute mentality.”
Anderson will get back on the pitch Wednesday, Oct. 10, when the Trojans visit Newberry. Kick-off versus the Wolves is set 2 p.m.