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October 24, 2011

Knights Complete Thrilling Comeback Victory Over Washington Adventist on Senior Day

Written by Chris Pendleton

BUENA VISTA, Va.—Meghan Blackham's first goal of the season could not have come at a more opportune time as the sophomore from Las Vegas, Nevada scored from 40 yards out with less than four minutes remaining during Monday's Senior Day match with Washington Adventist University lifting the Southern Virginia University women's soccer team to a thrilling 3-2 comeback victory over the NCAA Division II Shock.

Southern Virginia (5-11) came into Monday's match with something to prove after Washington Adventist (11-2) jumped all the way up to No. 2 in today's USCAA Coaches' Poll, while the Knights dropped out of the top 20 for the first time all season last Monday.

Despite outshooting the Shock in the opening half 16-4, Southern Virginia found itself down 1-0 at the half after Washington Adventist netted the game's first goal in the 8th minute of play.

Five minutes and fifteen seconds into the second half, senior midfielder Melanee Guymon (Chico, Calif.), who was honored along with seniors Tamara Nagle (Norco, Calif.) and Michelle Riddle (Midvale, Utah) before Monday's match, received a pass from Blackham and beat Washington Adventist's keeper Tashika Russell off the crossbar from 12 yards out evening the match at one goal apiece.

Just over 26 minutes later, Guymon climbed to sixth place on Southern Virginia's all-time assists list when her corner kick found sophomore Joni Painter (Las Vegas, Nev.) in front of the net for the go-ahead goal.

Southern Virginia's lead did not last long, however, as Washington Adventist answered back in the 84th minute as Brieanna Yon broke free on the right side and scored on a put back after keeper Briar Sands (Lehi, Utah) deflected Yon's initial attempt.

The game appeared to be headed for overtime until Blackham ripped a perfectly placed one-timer from 40 yards away that sailed just over Russell's reach into the top-right corner of the net with only 3:14 left on the clock.

With emotions running high on Senior Day, Southern Virginia fans flooded the field to celebrate with the Knights following their thrilling victory.

The Knights outshot the Shock 30-7 for the match, including a 15-4 advantage for shots on goal.

Monday's win marked the final home match for Guymon and Nagle who were freshman teammates on the Knights' 2008 squad that captured Southern Virginia women's soccer fifth USCAA National Championship. Guymon, a three-time USCAA all-American was named the 2008 USCAA Tournament MVP , while Nagle earned USCAA honorable mention all-American honors that year.

Last season, Riddle joined Nagle and Guymon after transferring to Southern Virginia as a junior from North Idaho College and helped the Knights defense to 10 shutouts on the way to a third place finish at the 2010 USCAA national tournament, while earning all-tournament honors for her tenacious defense. Both Guymon and Nagle were named USCAA all-Americans in 2010.

Women's soccer travels to Concord University on Wednesday, Oct. 26 for its penultimate match of the season at 2 p.m. The Knights play their final match of the year on Friday, Oct. 28 West Virginia Wesleyan College.