The North Greenville women’s soccer team dropped a hard-fought 3-0 loss to Conference Carolinas contender Pfeiffer University Saturday afternoon at Pepsi Stadium. While Pfeiffer dominated the possession battle throughout the match, the Lady Crusaders put in one of their staunchest defensive performances of the season, although the scoreline may not have reflected it.
The visiting Falcons were frustrated during the early stages of the match, and were unable to find any cracks in the Crusader defense until the 23rd minute, when Macy Rutledge got on the end of a Pfeiffer freekick to head in the opening goal. NGU was able to limit the majority of Pfeiffer’s efforts throughout the rest of the contest to long-distance shots, which junior goalkeeper Maddie Schober did well to collect. The Crusaders made several offensive thrusts of their own – primarily with diagonal balls played into the paths of wingers Lindsay Tuten and Alex Pagliaro – but the score remained 1-0 as the sides entered halftime.
The second half saw Pfeiffer come out with renewed vigor, and they were able to capitalize on one of the few defensive miscues made by NGU when the ball was played across the face of goal and a Pfeiffer midfielder scored at the back post in the 53rd minute to put her team up 2-0. The primary threat to the Crusader goal for the rest of the game was posed by freshman Aryana Harvey, who put two strikes from distance off the cross bar before finally scoring her 5th goal of the season in the 88th minute to give the Falcons their third and final goal. NGU managed to create several opportunities of their own in the second half, with freshman forward Arianna Perry twice getting behind the defense and playing dangerous crosses into the six-yard box, but neither ball was able to connect with any fellow NGU attackers.
The game ended with Pfeiffer holding 58% possession and outshooting NGU 12 to four. NGU’s keeper Maddie Schober made five saves on the eight shots on goal she faced, while Pfeiffer’s net-minder Deidre Gilley saved all three shots that NGU put on frame.
With the victory, Pfeiffer move to 5-1-0 in the conference and are currently tied for second place. NGU moves to 2-8-1 overall on the season and remain in 11th place in the conference. They next face the other team tied for second place in the conference – Belmont Abbey – Wednesday evening at 5:30 PM in Belmont, NC.