JaNiya Stevens vs. The Citadel
photo by Chattanooga Athletics
The Chattanooga women’s soccer team improved to 2-0 in Southern Conference action on opening weekend with a 2-1 win over The Citadel at the UTC Sports Complex.
Chattanooga improves to 4-3-2 overall and 2-0 in league play while the Bulldogs drop to 6-4 on the year and 1-1 against the conference after scoring a 1-0 victory at Samford on Friday.
“We scored from a corner on Friday night and then two again today,” Mocs head coach Gavin McKinney said. “The second was the second phase of a corner.
It was redelivered. JaNiya [Stevens] was in a great position. A little flick ended up being a winner.”
The Mocs took an early 1-0 lead off a corner kick. Birna Johannsdottir served the ball into the box and Shelby Hash recorded her second career goal, picking up the ball in the scrum and shooting past the keeper for the score.
It would be nearly 60 minutes before Chattanooga’s second score, also off a corner. Johannsdottir lined it up again and had to redeliver the pass. Stevens was in just the right spot to flick it into the net for what would prove to be the game winner.
“You’ve got to take set pieces when you’re in league play and games are so close,” McKinney said. “Any edge you can give yourself from restart is a huge advantage and we did that in both matches.”
Two-and-a-half minutes later the Bulldogs got on the board. Ashley Frank, a graduate transfer, took a shot from the upper left corner of the box and placed her shot in the upper middle of the frame, over the hand of Chattanooga keeper Caroline Ekern, to cut the Mocs’ lead in half in the 79th minute.
“Now you’re in a moment where momentum potentially shifts, so you’ve got to stay calm,” McKinney said. “I thought the girls did a great job of keeping their heads, staying organized and working the ball into forward areas.”
Chattanooga held off the Bulldogs the rest of the way for the win. UTC outshot The Citadel 13-7 with Mackenzie Smith (5) and Shelby Hash (4) combining for nine. Kennedi Walker and Frank each had two shots for the Bulldogs.
Jess Newton recorded a pair of saves for The Citadel and Ekern had one for the Mocs.
Chattanooga hits the road for the second weekend of league play starting Friday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. in Lexington, Va., against VMI. Sunday’s matchup will be at 2:00 p.m. kickoff at UNC Greensboro.
1 16:34 UTC Shelby Hash (2) off corner
2 76:20 UTC JaNiya Stevens (1) Birna Johannsdottir
3 78:50 CIT Ashley Frank (3) unassisted