The Samford women’s soccer team made it two for two this weekend as they won against six-seeded Chattanooga and #2 ETSU in Johnson City, TN, in the beginning of their SoCon Tournament campaign.
The Lady Bulldogs faced UTC in the first round of the championship. The two teams previously played each other only five days prior to the Friday night matchup, which ended in a 2-0 win for Samford. This game required two overtimes to find a winner, with Samford coming out victorious after an absolute nailbiter of a game.
UTC took the early lead within 5 minutes, with Birna Johannsdottir shooting low from near the penalty spot. The Mocs doubled their lead in the 40th minute when Johannsdottir struck past keeper Zoe Clevely for a crucial brace. Samford scored soon after in the 43rd minute, with Layton Glisson scoring her first of the season in the six-yard box to tighten the score before the half.
The game continued scoreless until Ella Simpson equalized in the 80th minute with a header off of a free kick. After the first half of overtime ended, Samford’s Mary Raymond scored the game-winner off a corner to earn Samford a hard-fought victory win at 3-2 after being down 0-2.
Kyla Reynolds, a graduate forward, talked about how the team reacted going 0-2 and how they turned it around needing to “take it up a notch.” The team came togther saying “This is not our last game” and “This is not how we go out,” said Reynolds. When Raymond scored the game-winner, there was “a feeling of relief and joy,” said Reynolds
The result continues Samford’s unprecedented undefeated streak against the Mocs, who have yet to register a win against Samford in women’s soccer.
Following the match on Friday, Samford played the hosting team, ETSU, and won 2-0, advancing them to the SoCon Championship finals. Samford and ETSU have played 14 times, with the Bulldogs only losing once in 2014.
Samford’s Mia Wehby was substituted for Layla Brown in the 20th minute and, within a minute, received the ball in the box, turned, and fired past ETSU’s keeper Ashton Blair to give Samford the lead. In the 58th minute, Brigid McElderry played in Kyla Reynolds, who ran past ETSU’s Blair and scored, sealing the win for Samford.
Head Coach Todd Yelton shared his thoughts on the matchup with the Bucs.
“I thought we played excellent,” Yelton said. We passed it really well, and against an inside team, you have to because they’re so good defensively…. It was a great effort with our group.”
Samford next faces the #1 seed Western Carolina for the SoCon Championship. The two teams faced each other in the first game of the conference season, where the Catamounts won 1-0 in Samford’s only conference defeat.
In the prospect of facing WCU, Samford’s one confrence loss, Reynolds shared that the team is “fired up” for the game. “The whole team is working so hard, its not just one individual,” Reynolds said.
The game will be hosted at WCU on Nov 5 at 1 p.m.