Samford Soccer officially began conference play last week with two home games against the VMI Keydets and the UNC Greensboro Spartans. Both games were dominant 3-0 Bulldog wins by the defending SoCon champs.
Junior forward Kyla Reynolds topped the scoresheet registering three shots on goal in both games, all of which found the back of the net. Reynolds was named the SoCon student-athlete of the week thanks to her stellar performance in these two games as well as her 3.97 GPA in the classroom. Also bringing fire to the Bulldog offense was junior midfielder Mary Raymond who assisted on a goal against VMI and then found the net herself against UNCG later that weekend.
Thanks to the pressure and stellar play from these two, along with the rest of the Samford offense, the Bulldogs find themselves at the top of the SoCon in goals, assists, points and corner kicks. The Bulldogs currently sit alone atop the SoCon standings with a 2-0 conference record.
Unsurprisingly, the Bulldog defense has been stellar through two conference games, pitching two shutouts and allowing only three shots on goal. Junior goalkeeper Morgan McAslan saved all three of those shots. On top of this stout defending, center back Kylie Gazza is tied for the team lead in goals (3), one of which came against VMI during Friday night’s Shauna’s Field dedication.
The Bulldogs have since won their third and fourth SoCon games. The first was a 1-0 victory over Mercer on Oct. 1 and then a 4-2 win over the Citadel on Oct. 3. The Bulldogs are currently the only team in the conference with a perfect 4-0 record.
The beginning of the 2021 SoCon schedule has been up to par with what fans expected from head coach Todd Yelton and his Bulldogs. However, something feels a little bit different about this year.
It could be the return to normality after last year’s COVID-19 affected season or thanks to the recent dedication of the team’s home turf as Shauna’s Field, named after the late wife of coach Yelton. Regardless, there is a different energy in the air when the Bulldogs have stepped on the pitch.
The Bulldogs’ next game will be against Wofford at home on Shauna’s Field. The game is scheduled for Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+.