ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville women's soccer team is back on the road Thursday night when the Bulldogs travel to Gardner-Webb for a match with the Runnin' Bulldogs starting at 7 p.m. Thursday's match will be video-streamed and can be seen for a small fee at www.uncabulldogs.com.
Asheville (4-11-0, 3-3-0 BSC) moved into fifth place in the Big South Conference standings on Saturday with a 5-0 victory over Charleston Southern. Amanda Knapp scored twice and added an assist for the Bulldogs, while Leilani Halkiotis picked up two goals. Freshman goalkeeper Heather Muller recorded her second shutout of the season.
After starting the season 0-7, Asheville has gone 4-4 in its last eight matches with three of those losses by just one goal. The Bulldogs are close to securing a top eight finish in the final league standings which will allow them to advance to the Big South Conference Tournament in Charleston, S.C. the weekend of Nov. 3-6. Not bad for a team picked to finish in 10th place in the league's preseason poll.
"We've obviously improved a great deal since the start of the season and continue to get better," stated second-year coach Michelle Demko. "However, we still have plenty of work to do and want to continue to improve and be playing our best soccer going into the conference tournament."
Asheville hopes to end a two-game losing streak in the series to Gardner-Webb. The Bulldogs have not defeated the Runnin' Bulldogs since a 3-0 triumph at Greenwood Field in the 2008 season.
The Blue & White play at Winthrop Saturday in the final regular-season road match. Asheville returns to Greenwood Field next week to finish the regular season with home matches vs. High Point (Oct. 27) and Liberty (Oct. 29).
In Asheville's four wins this season, the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 16-2.
Freshman goalkeeper Heather Muller is 23rd nationally in total saves with 91.
Asheville leads the Big South in shots taken with a 15.33 per game average.
The Bulldogs have not allowed a second-half goal in their last five matches.
Asheville has already improved from last season's win total. The Bulldogs were just 1-16-0 on 2010 and did not win a conference match. Asheville has four wins overall and three victories in league play.
The Bulldogs have had at least 10 shots in the past 10 matches.
Three of Amanda Knapp's six goals have been game-winners.
Leilani Halkiotis is now 10th all-time at UNC Asheville in goals scored with 12. She needs three to pass Ellen Sims (14) into ninth place.