NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb women’s soccer team opened the 2011 campaign, Friday night, with a hard-fought contest against Sun Belt foe Arkansas State. Regulation wasn’t enough in an exciting first night of the season, as the Lady Bisons and Red Wolves played 110 minutes before coming away with a 1-1 draw.
Junior Megan McGuire put Lipscomb on the board early, putting home a penalty kick in the games’ fifth minute to give the Lady Bisons an early lead. The goal was the fourth of McGuire’s career, tying her with Andie Thornton for most among active Lady Bisons.
Arkansas State would counter later in the first half, with Jessica Jingblad taking an Ashley McMurtry entry pass and beating Lipscomb keeper Erin Zerio for the equalizer.
It was Zerio’s only blemish of the evening; she saved the other five shots the Red Wolves put on net, giving the junior netminder 148 career stops.
The Red Wolves Bethany Kremer was stellar in her own right following McGuire’s penalty kick, stymieing the Lady Bisons attack and making four subsequent saves.
After averaging just over eight shots per contest in 2010, the Lady Bisons assaulted the net from the opening whistle to begin 2011. Junior Kameron Stilwell took a team-high four shots, and senior Kirsten Heikkinen, junior Danielle Bethke and freshman Karli Crosby each added two more shot attempts on the evening.
The unrelenting attack was a welcome sight for an offense that has often sputtered in the past, but was not without its own hiccups in the opener.
The Lady Bisons were called for offsides on nine occasions, something that head coach Jon Ireland will certainly keep an eye on in the coming games.
In the waning moments of regulation, Zerio made the save of the game on a Megan Mace header that looked to have her fooled. Reaching behind her, Zerio just managed to keep the ball out of the net and preserve the tie.
In addition to both keepers, five position players went the full 110-minute time in this one, including Lipscomb’s Heikkinen, sophomore Stephanie Romero and freshman Brittany Rupple.
After a day of rest, the Lady Bisons will be back in action, Sunday, when they host Central Arkansas in a 1 p.m. match. This game will also be contested on the training field behind Cofer’s Chapel Church while a lighting renovation project is being completed on the Lipscomb Soccer Complex.