Tigerville, S.C. – In front of a crowd of over 200 fans in Pepsi Stadium, the Lady Crusader soccer team controlled the game for almost the full 90 minutes as North Greenville defeated in-state rival Southern Wesleyan 2-0 in their first game of the 2011 season on Thursday night.
In the inaugural game of the season, head coach Jesse McCormick had three of his 11 new freshmen step up and make an immediate impact in the outcome of the game.
“We played well and our girls played the full 90 minutes,” said McCormick. “The girls have been working hard and that really showed tonight.”
After a game of much back-and-forth play, North Greenville scored the game’s first goal in the 81st minute after two freshmen, Noelle Beasley and Danielle Simmons, combined to put the Lady Crusaders up by one. Beasley received a pass and drove the ball deep into the opponent’s territory before sending a cross into the box. Simmons swung her left foot and connected for her first career collegiate goal.
Freshman Brooke Domingo put the game away for North Greenville as she scored her first career goal in the 86th minute of play.
Despite some difficulty on the offensive side of the ball, the Lady Crusaders managed to outshoot the Lady Warriors 18-12 and North Greenville goalkeeper Regina Ibanga made six saves in the game to record her first shutout of the season.
“We had a lot of returning players step up and play well and our freshmen played very strong as well,” said McCormick. “Regina Ibanga did a fantastic job keeping us in the game and giving us a chance to win and our defense in the middle did a good job of stopping the attack.”
The Lady Crusaders (1-0) will take the field again on Monday afternoon in Black Mountain, N.C. as they take on Montreat College at 4 p.m.