The ETSU Lady Bucs returned home to Summers-Taylor Stadium from a two-game road trip.
The Bucs split the road games with a 7-0 win over Alabama A&M and a 1-1 draw against Western Carolina.
The Lady Bucs faced off against the Francis Marion Patriots and Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles with a shortened bench as freshman Thomai Vardali, freshman Jenny Poeltl and sophomore Sarah Zadrazil all were called up by their respective national teams.
The Lady Bucs split the weekend beating FMU 2-0 and dropping a 1-0 match to Tennessee Tech
“It was an open game against Tennessee Tech. And once we conceded the early goal against them they defended well,” head coach Adam Sayers said.
ETSU attacked early as junior Ellis Parsons took a shot just outside of the box, but the Patriots goalie was able to deflect it out of bounds.
After weathering the initial attack, FMU started to push the Lady Bucs into a defensive fight. While the Patriots controlled the ball, the ETSU defense did not give FMU an opening. FMU continued to push the Bucs, but the stout ETSU defense was able to stop every attack.
ETSU finally looked to overcome the slow start as Parsons received a long ball, and beat the Patriots defense and the goalie to take the 1-0 lead. ETSU added to the lead late in the half as Kristi Davis fielded a ball deep in Patriot territory and slotted the ball past the goalie for the 2-0 lead.
FMU looked to get back in the game before the half with a corner kick into the box but ETSU held firm. At the end of the half, ETSU led the Patriots 2-0.
FMU came out in the second half attacking and had a chance on a shot past the ETSU goalie, but a the ball hit the bar and bounced out. After the shock of the Patriot attack, the Lady Bucs reasserted their dominance and started to push forward again. ETSU kept forcing the Patriots, but as the match was closing ETSU started to show signs of fatigue and gave FMU a chance to get back in the game late. ETSU held onto the lead to beat FMU 2-0.
“We had some players playing in unfamiliar spots and our goal was to get the early lead and grind out the game,” Sayers said.
The Lady Bucs continued the weekend in a Sunday match against the TTU Golden Eagles in their final non-conference game of the season.
ETSU looked to get on the board early as Parson headed a cross towards the goal, but the goalie grabbed the ball out of the air. TTU came storming back as a cross into the goal area hit the bar and bounced down to Shannon Rountree. The shot beat ETSU goalie Anna Yancey for a 1-0 TTU lead. ETSU could have tied the match as senior Molly Vaughn’s shot hit the cross bar and bounced straight down before bouncing out. The follow-up shot by Kristi Davis also hit the bar and bounced out to keep the game a 1-0 TTU advantage halfway through the first half. ETSU had a chance late into the half on a foul deep in TTU territory, but the shot by senior Samantha Kron was saved by the TTU goalie. At the half, TTU continued to cling to a 1-0 lead.
At the start of the second half, the Lady Bucs continued to hunt for a goal and the chance to get back in the match. ETSU continued to attack but struggled to find the open shot as attack after attack was met with a Golden Eagle in the right spot. As the second half drew to a close, the Lady Bucs started an all out offensive to try and send the match to overtime, but every shot was deflected out or hit the cross bar as TTU clung to the 1-0 lead.
In the final seconds of the game, ETSU had a chance to tie the match, but as the attack started to form, the clock hit zero for the 1-0 Tennessee Tech victory over the Lady Bucs.
ETSU must now look forward to the start of conference play as USC Upstate comes to Summers-Taylor stadium on Saturday at 7 p.m.
“We have to bounce back and this group of players are very good at it,” Sayers said.