Bears Undefeated in Last Five; Shutout USC Upstate 3-0
MACON, Ga. – The Mercer women's soccer team extended its undefeated streak to five games on Friday night as the Bears shutout the visiting USC Upstate Spartans 3-0 at Bear Field.
The Bears (7-3-2, 1-0-1 A-Sun) are now 4-0-1 in their last five games and took Friday's game in impressive fashion. Mercer started out quick and maintained solid offensive pressure throughout against an outmatched Upstate(2-10-0, 0-3-0 A-Sun) team. The Bears had 22 shots in the game, while their defense was able to limit the Spartans to just three.
The win was head coach Tony Economopoulos' first Atlantic Sun Conference first since taking over the program and it came on the team's annual "Pink Out" game to support breast cancer awareness. Several breast cancer survivors were on hand and were honored throughout the match.
Mercer's jumped out to an early lead when sophomore Lauren Gassie tallied her team-leading seventh goal of the season just one minute into the match. After securing an early corner, Gassie took the try and curved a ball to the Spartans near post and the ball found its way into the back of the net.
Twelve minutes later, the Orange and Black extended its lead as sophomore transfer Tess Patton scored the first of her two goals on the night. Junior Nadja Kolliesuah played a nice ball deep into the Spartans corner and found sophomore Washida Blackman who was able to make a nice feed inside the Upstate box. Patton corralled the cross and finished from two yards out to give the Bears the 2-0 lead.
USC Upstate battled back throughout the remainder of the first half and took space in the Bears zone on a slippery night at Bear Field. The teams walked into halftime with the Bears leading 2-0.
Less than 10 minutes into the second stanza Patton extended the Bears lead to 3-0. Her second of the match came off a well-executed chance inside the Spartans box. Senior Danielle Hesse made a nice individual run at the top of the 18 and unloaded a well-struck shot that forced Upstate's keeper to make a save. The ball bounced to the open feet of Patton and she buried the rebound for the final goal of the game.
Mercer continued its remarkable offensive display on Friday as the team eclipsed the 200 shot plateau (209) for the season . It was also the fourth time this season that the Bears have recorded 20 or more shots in a game. Mercer leads the A-Sun in shots and goals (27).
Mercer continues A-Sun play this Sunday afternoon as East Tennessee State heads to Bear Field for a 1 p.m. start. The Lady Bucs improved 8-3 and 2-1 in conference on Friday night, defeating Kennesaw State 3-1.