ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Rachael Parks scored her first career goal late in the first half as Presbyterian College edged UNC Asheville 1-0 in Big South Conference women’s soccer action Saturday afternoon at Greenwood Field.
The loss was the Bulldogs (5-5-0, 1-1-0 BSC) first at home this year in four games. The Blue Hose improved to 4-4-0 on the season and 1-1-0 in league action. PC was coming off a heart-breaking 1-0 double overtime loss at defending Big South champion Radford Wednesday night.
The loss spoiled a special milestone for Asheville goalkeeper Heather Muller. The junior made five saves in the match and became the school’s all-time career leader in that category with 301. She surpasses Jill Young with 297 saves. Young is a member of the school and Big South’s Hall of Fame.
The only goal came in the 34th minute. PC’s Kristen Peagler sent a nice pass into the goal area that Parks was able to get her foot on and it went into the back of the net for a 1-0 Blue Hose lead at 34:05.
The Bulldogs had chances. They out-shot the visitors 15-12. Early in the second half, Kennedy Garrett got loose right in front of the goal. Garrett was one-on-one with the keeper but PC goalkeeper Sydney Fontenot was able to stop the shot and keep Asheville off the scoreboard.
“It's disappointing to play such a high level of soccer two days ago then come out today and not have that same performance,” stated Bulldog coach Michelle Demko. “We need to be a team that plays consistent soccer game in and game out. Successful teams don't have to be the most talented but they are the ones who make the most of their opportunities, utilize their strengths and execute the game plan. We had a high work ethic today. We ran for each other but we had a slow first half and it's difficult to dig out from that. We will learn from this loss and move forward to our game against Liberty on Wednesday.”
Demko had high praise for Muller.
“Heather was solid for us again. She is playing some of her best soccer,” added Demko. “We know she is going to give us a chance to stay in games. I am confident we will continue to create chances. We just have to be better at finishing them.”
Fontenot made six saves for the visitors to earn her first win of the season. Amanda Dailor had six shots for the Bulldogs.
Asheville hosts Big South foe Liberty on Wednesday starting at 3:30 p.m. Presbyterian College goes to Charleston Southern Wednesday for a 4 p.m. contest.