A late goal by Western Carolina made all the difference in Sunday night’s matchup as the Radford University women’s soccer team fell to the Catamounts, 1-0, in Cullowhee, N.C.
The first half was slow as the two teams were scoreless heading into the locker room. The Highlanders only took two shots in the half and the Catamounts only took two more to lead with four. Both of Radford’s shots came before the 20-minute mark of the first half.
Lily McLane took the first shot of the match in the seventh minute and Melody Mezzina came up with the save. After WCU’s first strike, McLane took the second in the 19th minute but this one missed wide.
The shot count jumped a little more in the second half but was higher on one side than the other. The Catamounts took seven strikes compared to Radford’s four. Western Carolina’s fourth shot of the half was the difference maker and it came in the 72nd minute. Regan Ward took a pass from Mackenzie Wright and fired it towards the goal from 10 yards out. The shot was placed in the top right side of the net, just past Courtenay Kaplan for the score.
Radford fired off three more shots in the winding minutes off the match with three different results. The first was the closest as Izzy Armstrong forced Mezzina to make another save in the 73rd minute. The second came from Gabi Paupst in the 78th minute that went wide of the goal. The final Radford shot came in the 88th minute by sophomore Reese Degnan but the shot was blocked.
McLane led the way with two shots for Radford, landing one on goal. Armstrong was the only other Highlander to put a shot on goal.
“We played with a lot of heart tonight on the road and fell a little short in the end,” Ben Sohrabi said. “We fought and had a couple opportunities to equalize late but it didn’t fall for us. This was good competition for us going into conference. We’ll regroup and get ready for Winthrop.”
Radford will return to the NRV and begin conference play with Winthrop on Saturday at 7 p.m., at Cupp Stadium.