|September 19, 2015||1st||2nd||1OT||2OT||Final|
|LIP||30:03||Maycie McKay (Paige Miller )|
|WCU||51:24||Markie Studnicky (Kelly Pannell )|
|Stats at a Glance||WCU||LIP|
|Shots (on Goal)||9 (5)||9 (1)|
NASHVILLE – Lipscomb (5-2-4) women’s soccer ended the Nike Invitational undefeated after a tense 1-1 draw with Western Carolina (4-3-2) on Saturday night.
Both teams came into the matchup having won its tilt on Thursday. Lipscomb took down Akron 2-0 and Western Carolina defeated UT-Martin 3-0.
“I was pleased in a lot of areas,” women’s soccer head coach Kevin O’Brien said. “There are a few areas we need to tighten up, but overall I was pleased.
“I think Western Carolina’s a great game to have prior to moving into conference play because that’s what it’s going to feel like: very competitive, every ball is contested for, it’s physical, it has a little bit of edge to it. That’s what tonight had. In terms of comparing us, I don’t think we could have asked for a better matchup.”
Freshman Maycie McKay slotted in a goal sent from sophomore Paige Miller in the 30th minute to give the Lady Bisons an early momentum boost. The goal was McKay’s team-leading sixth for the season, which is also good enough to place her second in the Atlantic Sun.
“It was a game of give-and-take,” O’Brien said. “If we sent our wide players forward, it would draw our wingers back, and vice-versa. The game was kind of won and lost in the midfield. Overall, it was a 50-50 split. The result of the game isn’t surprising to me.”
Just after halftime, the Catamounts knotted the game up at one with a goal from senior Markie-Lynn Studnicky. The Western Carolina forward placed the ball into the corner of the net past Lipscomb goalkeeper Anna Buhigas on a fast break.
“The area we need to improve on the most is giving the ball away to cheaply,” O’Brien said. “The players do a wonderful job of working together and winning it, maybe even connect a few great passes, but then gives up an easy giveaway. We have to learn there are more options and better options out there. And we have to keep the ball better to be as successful as I think this team can be.”
Buhigas notched four saves on the night as the defense held strong throughout the entire of overtime and the final 40 minutes of regulation despite several attacking chances from Western Carolina. Buhigas now has 59 saves on the season.
- McKay led the Lady Bisons with 3 shots in the tie, bringing her season total to a team-high 30.
- Both teams finished the game with nine shots, but Western Carolina notched four shots on goal to Lipscomb’s one.
- The Purple and Gold won the corner kick battle 7-4, while the Catamounts out-fouled the Lady Bisons 13-7.
- UT-Martin defeated Akron 2-1 in overtime in Saturday’s first game.
UP NEXT: The Lady Bisons will kick off conference play with a matchup against Kennesaw State Saturday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m.
“It’s exciting to start conference play,” O’Brien said. “In the end, all the non-conference success that we’ve had doesn’t mean a hill of beans. It’s all about trying to win the conference.
“It’s a great first test. They’re a wonderful team. We got the better of them in the regular season last year, but they knocked us out in the conference semifinals. I know the players are motivated to give their best effort. I’m sure it’s going to go toe-to-toe, and may the best team win.”