ETSU’s women’s soccer has had a strong run during the preseason in order to prepare for conference play, which starts in late September.

On Aug. 19, the women hosted the USC Upstate Spartans, earning a 1-0 win. The game was physical on both ends with ETSU having strong opportunities on goal. However, early in the match, nothing could go their way.

Going into the second half, the ladies just needed something to connect, and it finally did. A ball from defender Cecilia Re (Busnago, Italy) to forward Irina Brutsch (Zurich, Switzerland) set up freshman midfielder Georgia Allen (Bury St Edmonds, Suffolk, England), enabling her to score the single goal of the game.

“It was a great team goal,” said Head Coach Adam Sayers. “We saw the game out from there.”

The win was not the team’s only accomplishment during the game against USC Upstate. Senior goalkeeper Jasmine Elliott (Preston, England) broke the record for most career shutouts. Elliott recognizes how great it is to break records, but she said there is also a lot more to it.

“It’s not just me as an individual, it’s also a collective effort as a team,” Elliott said, “and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates also.”

Elliott has overcome many difficulties related to injury during her time at ETSU. The most recent kept her off the field right up to the start of this season.

“She stepped right back in and after eight months out, she breaks the record,” Sayers said. “She deserves that.”

On Tuesday, ETSU hosted Radford University in their second match of the season at home. Sayers said Radford is always on the team’s schedule in non-conference play, and with the win against USC Upstate, it’s another step forward to beating a tough team.

“It’s going to be important for us to be at our best,” Sayers said, “but the girls are prepared for it.”

Like the game against USC Upstate, it was physical. Radford’s defense held ETSU strong, but early in the first half, the Bucs were awarded a corner and used it.

Simona Koren (Graz, Austria) took advantage of the block by the keeper on the corner and scored the only goal of the game, giving ETSU a 1-0 win over Radford.

The team has made a lot of progress, and the preseason will continue to allow them the opportunity to experiment with what works, and for now, things seem to be working great with two tough wins.

The Bucs are on the road until Sep. 7 when they will host the Winthrop Eagles.