|Longwood Senior Nikki Glisson|
FARMVILLE, Va. -- Longwood University remained unbeaten at home in Big South Conference women’s soccer action on Saturday night, taking a 2-0 shutout victory past in-state school VMI at the Athletics Complex in Farmville on Senior Night. Freshman Olivia Colella|Herndon (Chantilly) scored both goals, including the game-winning goal in the 12th minute for the Lancers (12-5-1, 7-2-1 Big South), as the hosts finished the regular season 5-0 in league home matches with the win against the visiting Keydets (1-15, 0-10 Big South). Senior Nikki Glisson|Mechanicsville (Hanover), junior Kelsey Pardue|Henrico (Hermitage) and sophomore Kylie Dyer|Farmville (Prince Edward County) each had an assist, and senior keeper Kyra Byron|Richmond (Mills E. Godwin) earned the victory in front of the net. Longwood will play its final regular-season match on the road on Tuesday, October 23, at nearby rival Liberty University in Lynchburg at 4:30 p.m.
Longwood controlled the match throughout and led 1-0 at the intermission after Colella scored the opening goal at 11:39, beating the keeper one-on-one with a shot to the lower left corner of the net after taking a pass from Glisson. Colella added an insurance goal for the Lancers in the 64th minute when she collected a pass in the box and beat the keeper left once-again. Pardue had fed a nice ball into box to Dyer who deflected it on to Colella for the finish at 63:45.
“A win on Senior Night always feels good in that we’re able to honor those players who have done so much for our program,” said 19th-year head coach Todd Dyer ‘93. “We got behind them consistently, but only managed two goals to show for it. However, the way we defended made those two stand for a solid win at home and our seniors are able to go out in style.”
Longwood had a 19-6 advantage in shots, including 10-4 in attempts on goal, and it was an 8-4 edge on corner kicks. Senior captain Lindsey Ottavio|Fairfax (W.T. Woodson) had six shots, two on goal, while Colella had four shots, each on goal. Byron played the first 87:33 in front of the net for the Lancers with four saves, and junior keeper Shelby Hall|Purcellville (Loudoun Valley) finished the final 2:27 as the hosts posted shutout number nine this season.
Simone Jimenez had two shots, both on goal, for VMI, while keeper Mackenzie Harrmann played the duration for the Keydets with eight saves. VMI will close its season at Big South opponent Radford University on Oct. 23.
Longwood and VMI were playing for the ninth time in the sport of women’s soccer, and the Lancers continue to lead the series, 8-0-1. Longwood continues to enjoy its finest season since 2002 (15-3-1).
It was Senior Night with a special pre-game recognition ceremony for seniors Kyra Byron, Nikki Glisson,Natalie Massey, Lindsey Ottavio and Chelsea Walter. This group has a combined four-year record of 39-28-6 (.575).
“This class is going out as one of the most talented and accomplished groups in the history of our women’s soccer program at the Division I level. However, their greatest contribution to Longwood is the standard they set and lived by with regard to their character and commitment on the soccer field, in the classroom and within the community. It is only fitting that this special group of young women had the honor of representing Longwood in our first-ever season of Big South Conference play this fall. They have taken full advantage of this opportunity, yet their best work still lies ahead after graduation. With that in mind, we extend a very heartfelt ‘thank you’ for all of their hard work and we wish them well as they move forward. Go Lancers!” -- Head Coach Todd Dyer ‘93