Women’s soccer fights for win
in season opener against Pfeiffer
By Dan Kelly
The UNCP Women’s Soccer team won its season opener at home against Pfeiffer 1-0 in what Head Coach Lars Andersson called a tough match against a good team.
Sarah Day scored the decisive goal in the 42nd minute with an assist by Lefke Boysen.
A controversial moment occurred in the second half as a Pfeiffer player appeared to be badly injured yet the referee allowed play to continue.
The players quickly became confused as the UNCP players were on a breakaway and unaware of the injury.
Meanwhile, the other Pfeiffer players were shouting for the ball to be kicked out so the injured player could be taken off the field—a traditional soccer practice.
Andersson declined to criticize the decision by the referee but said that the safety of both team’s players was his number one priority.
Overall, the statistics heavily favored the Braves with a 14-5 advantage in shots on goal for the match. Of those 14 shots of goal, 10 of them came in the first half.
The match-up appeared fairly even early on, but the Braves eventually had a flurry of goal-scoring chances.
“We didn’t play well early and I don’t want to say that’s expected,” said Andersson. “We started to sort things out the last 15 minutes of the first half.”
The same trend continued into the second half, although the Braves did not manufacture the same rate of scoring chances.
Eventually, UNCP settled into a defensive shell and kept the Falcons from getting off a single shot in the second half.
“The second half we pretty much dominated the game until the last 10 minutes when we decided to sit back and see if we could ride it out,” said Andersson, “Poor decision by our players and we’ll fix that.”
This was also the first regular season match played on UNCP’s newest field Varsity Grounds, which is located past the Village Apartments near the Physical Plant.
It was essentially a fenced-off, weedy field over a year ago.
Now, it has a scoreboard, stadium lights, a few sets of bleachers and is properly cut.
“It’s a little cozier than the football stadium used to be…the atmosphere was good,” Andersson said.
Of course, that doesn’t mean small improvements can’t be made.
“If I had my wish and a magic wand, I’d put a $5 million field house right there,” Andersson said as he points to the one overgrown area left at the field.