The ETSU women’s soccer team faced off against Mercer on Nov. 4 with a chance to advance to the SoCon Championship for the first time in history.

The Bucs won 3-1 over Mercer in a fast-paced, aggressive game. Two days later, the team lost against Samford, bringing their championship run to a sudden close. With a recorded attendance of 300 plus fans during the game on Nov. 4, it was a great atmosphere for the Bucs.

“The key for us tonight was being composed in possessions and taking our chances,” said ETSU Head Coach Adam Sayers. The Buccaneers kicked 24 shots on the night with 14 of them being at the goal. The first goal of the night came from sophomore Isabel Hodgson (Adelaide, Australia), giving the Bucs a 1-0 lead.

The Bucs shut out Mercer in the first half. A key factor for the ETSU team was that the defense managed to limit Mercer’s opportunities to get into scoring position. Of the seven shots Mercer attempted, only two were at the goal. Mercer, however, was able to stop the Bucs from scoring when their shots were on goal.

Coming into the game, the Bucs focused on moving the ball effectively on Mercer, said Sayers. He wanted the Bucs to be aggressive.

“They have a fantastic work ethic,” Sayers said. “We have to move the ball quickly from their pressure.”

In the second half, Mercer was able to tie the game when senior Maddie Clark (Peachtree Corners, Ga.) scored a goal from a pass by Haley McDuffee. Later in the second half senior Molly Collinson (Cramlington, England) scored a timely goal on an assist by Isabel Hodgson to give the Bucs a 2-1 lead. Five minutes later, Isabel Hodgson got her second goal of the night from a shot by Georgia Allen (Suffolk, England) that ricocheted off the goal to give the Buccaneers a strong 3-1 lead.

With this win, the Bucs improved to 13-5-2 on the season and 10-0 at home. The Bucs’ foray into the SoCon tournament ended, however, after a 2-1 loss on Nov. 6 against Samford.