ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville women’s soccer team will look to go 2-0 for the first time since the 2005 season when the Bulldogs host USC Upstate Thursday afternoon at Greenwood Field starting at 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children.
Thursday’s match will be available for free on the Big South Digital Network. Fans can access the video-stream broadcast at uncabulldogs.com under the multimedia tag.
Asheville opened the season with a thrilling 2-1 triumph over Eastern Kentucky this past Friday. It was the Bulldogs first opening-game win since the 2007 season. Now Michelle Demko’s squad hopes to go 2-0 for the first time since the 2005 campaign.
It will not be easy. USC Upstate enters Thursday’s tilt with a 1-0-1 record. The Spartans knocked off VMI last week, 2-1 and then tied Wofford, 0-0. It is USC Upstate’s best start ever in the program’s history.
"Our game against SC Upstate is another opportunity for us to play 90 minutes together. We are working to establish our identity this season and apply the things we implemented in training this past week,” stated Demko. “We are coming off a very high level of intensity this week, incredible ball movement and challenging ourselves on a tactical level. I am pleased with our commitment and focus on a daily basis and am amazed on how much we continue to grow from week to week. We had a great turnout for our last game (a record crowd since 2007), and we will need everyone back to help us beat SC Upstate. We are trying to build toward a legacy in the women's soccer program and need everyone's support on campus to help us work toward that goal."
The Bulldogs won last year’s meeting in Spartanburg, 5-1 behind three goals from Paige Trent.
Last Friday, Asheville got goals from Amanda Dailor and Trent to build a 2-0 lead. EKU scored late to cut the lead to 2-1 but the Bulldogs defense stiffened in the final five minutes to preserve the program’s first ever win over the Colonels.
After the game with USC Upstate, the Bulldogs hit the road for their next three games. Asheville travels to Wofford (Sept. 1), Appalachian State (Sept. 5) and Chattanooga (Sept. 8). The Bulldogs next home game will be with Mars Hill on Sept. 11.
Dating back to last season, UNC Asheville has won three of its last four games.
The Bulldogs have scored at least one goal in 10 straight matches dating back to 2012.
Asheville won against Eastern Kentucky despite not having two of its leading scorers from last year not play in junior forward Kaitlyn Eckert and sophomore midfielder Shenny Lenhart. Eckert has produced at least a point in the last nine games she’s played, tying a school record held by the great Hilary McKay. Eckert led Asheville in scoring last season with 11 goals and 31 points. Lenhart had four goals and nine points in her freshman campaign.