By: B.J. Pheasant, Assistant Soccer Coach
(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) – The ninth-ranked Thomas More College women's soccer team played its season and home opener on an unseasonably cool day at BB&T Field in Crestview Hills, Kentucky. The Saints blanked Wittenberg University 3-0 to start the season at 1-0 while the Tigers fall to 0-1.
"Our emphasis during preseason has been to play smart soccer with consistency," said TMC head coach Jeff Cummings. "We were able to play well at times, but need to maintain focus and intensity. We have a short turnaround to play a nationally ranked opponent on Saturday. This is why student-athletes come to Thomas More, to challenge themselves."
The Saints put pressure on the Tigers early by creating a half chance on the opening kickoff, but the six shots in the first twenty minutes all went askew. The overwhelming defensive pressure paid off in the 22nd minute as senior left midfielder Lauren Rose (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) got free on the left side an whipped a worm burner across the face of goal to right junior midfielder Kaitlyn Armentrout (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) who was crashing the back post and earned her first collegiate goal!
Four minutes later in the 26th minute the relentless defensive pressure by the Saints midfield forced a bad pass that was stolen by junior forward Julia Flagge-Echols (Colerain, Ohio/Colerain) who raced by the center backs to calmly wrong foot the goal keeper for a 2-0 lead. And, four minutes after that senior midfielder Laura Felix (Burlington, Ky./St. Henry) received a throw in on the left sideline, turned her defender, and drove a cross in at the six that was headed into the ol' onion bag by senior midfielder Erika LaRosa (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton).
With three goals in ten minutes the Saints took the opportunity to go to the bench and see what the newcomers could do against collegiate competition. The team kept up the pressure for nine additional shots as they outshot the Tigers 18-5 on the game. Unfortunately, none of them found the back of the net. Senior goalkeeper Megan Barton (Florence, Ky./Villa Madonna) added another shutout to her tally while making three saves.
The Saints travel to No.2- ranked Carnegie Mellon on Saturday (September 3) at 4 p.m. and return to the friendly confines of BB&T Field on Labor Day to face Capital at 1:30 p.m. Live video and stats are available with links found on TMCSaints.com.