The USCB women’s soccer team fell behind early and couldn’t overcome the deficit Monday, falling 3-0 to visiting Brenau (Ga.) at Fin Land Field.
The Golden Tigers scored twice in the game’s first 11 minutes, and the Sand Sharks were unable to find the goal for the second straight game.
“Unfortunate but expected result today,” USCB coach Ed Heberling said. “Our warmup was poor and spilled over to the start of the game. We were outworked and outplayed in the first half.”
Brenau opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Tiffany Raygor lofted a shot from 30 yards out that floated beyond the reach of goalkeeper Taylor Superior. The Sand Sharks nearly answered less than two minutes later, as Anna Gignilliat ripped a shot that Brenau keeper Anela Melton was able to deflect to the post, and Karen Pimentel’s shot on the rebound drilled the crossbar.
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The Golden Tigers added to the lead in the 11th minute, when Taylor Bennett’s corner kick found Jasmine Brewster at the far post and Brewster’s header made it 2-0.
“Playing as poorly as we did, we were fortunate to come in only down 2-0,” Heberling said. “The players came out ready to play in the second half and the game was much closer.”
The only goal of the second half came in the 53rd minute, when Superior came off her line to attempt a sliding stop but was beaten to the ball by Maddie Corley, who chipped a shot past her for a 3-0 advantage.
The Sand Sharks were able to generate numerous scoring chances with reserves Daniella Borjas, Brittney Neser and Cameron Croney-Clark playing the forward positions, but Melton was up to the task and recorded eight saves for the Golden Tigers’ third straight shutout to start the season.
USCB hits the road for its next five matches, beginning with a trip to Middle Georgia for a 5 p.m. kickoff Saturday. The Sand Sharks will travel to Columbia, S.C., twice for matches at Columbia College and Columbia International before opening Sun Conference play Sept. 22 at Southeastern.
“We need to work on our aerial game and showing up ready to play,” Heberling said. “As poorly as we played today, we can still compete if our effort is strong.”