|Longwood Senior goalkeeper Kyra Byron|
FARMVILLE, Va. -- Longwood University remained unbeaten at home in Big South Conference women’s soccer action on Saturday afternoon, taking a 2-0 shutout victory past Gardner-Webb University at the Athletics Complex in Farmville. Sophomore Kelsey McDonald|Kennett Square, Pa. (Unionville) scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 26th minute for the Lancers (10-4, 5-1 Big South), as the hosts improved to 4-0 in league home matches with the win against the visiting Bulldogs (2-10-1, 1-4-1 Big South). Junior Kelsey Pardue|Henrico (Hermitage) added a late insurance goal in the 81st minute, as the program attained its 13th 10-win season in the sport’s 19-year history, and senior keeper Kyra Byron|Richmond (Mills E. Godwin) gained the shutout in front of the net. Longwood will play its next three conference matches on the road, beginning on Thursday, October 11, at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina at 7 p.m.
“We created a lot of chances, especially in the first half, but we could have done much more with our finishing,” said 19th-year head coach Todd Dyer ‘93. “The second half was lackluster for us in a lot of areas, but we won’t complain about a 2-0 shutout in conference.”
Longwood controlled the match throughout and led 1-0 at the intermission after McDonald scored the opening goal at 25:45, finishing with a hard shot into the back of the net after collecting a loose ball in the left side of the box. It was McDonald’s third goal this season, and her second goal in two matches, as the Lancers led 1-0 at the intermission despite having a 14-0 advantage in shots. Pardue, who leads the Big South in scoring with 17 points (six goals, five assists), scored at 80:49 when she collected her own rebound from a saved penalty-kick attempt and promptly placed the ball back into the net for her sixth goal this fall.
Longwood had a 22-2 advantage in shots, including 10-2 in attempts on goal, and it was 9-2 on corner kicks. Pardue had six shots, four on goal, while McDonald added four shots, one on goal. Byron played the duration in front for the Lancers with two saves en route to her fifth shutout this season, and the 12th shutout of her career to rank sixth all-time.
Ashley Carmean and Shelby Hooe each had one shot, on goal, for Gardner-Webb, while Amy Schmitt, who had the PK stop, played the duration for the Bulldogs with eight saves.
Longwood and Gardner-Webb were playing for the third time in the sport of women’s soccer, though for the first time since 1998, and the Lancers now lead the series, 2-1.
Longwood welcomed back its 2002 team on the 10th anniversary of their Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference (CVAC) Tournament Championship. The Lancers won the CVAC Championship that season with a 2-0 shutout against Barton College in Belmont, North Carolina. Longwood finished the 2002 campaign with a final record of 15-3-1 overall, including 10-1-0 in the CVAC, still the second-finest season in the history of the program. Team members included Brandi Barfield, Holly Belcher, Mikaela Bizer, Mia Capps, Hillary Carney, Melissa Cary, Christine Clay, Teresa Feher, Tiffany Gruschow, Amanda Guckian, Erin Kennedy, Laura Kilmartin, Rachel Krekorian, Stef Langton, Rigel Lockett, April Lockley, Sarah Mathis, Phoebe Munson, Lindsay Naill, Gina Powell, Whitney Raunswinter, Tiffany Rice and Tricia Root. Coach Dyer was assisted by Juan Bernedo and Kayla Miller.