Written by Chris Pendleton
BUENA VISTA, Va.—For the second time in three games, including back-to-back home matches, seven different members of the Southern Virginia University women's soccer team recorded a goal during a victory as the Knights defeated NCAA Division III Hood College 7-0 on Saturday at The Fields.
"That was a total team win today," said sixth-year Head Coach Matt Grawrock. "All of our goals started with solid defense and strong passing through the midfield. I was really proud of the way we played as a team."
Southern Virginia (3-4) controlled possession throughout Saturday's match outshooting the Blazers 32-6 on the afternoon, including a 19-2 advantage for shots on goal.
Lora Palmer (Apline, Utah), Emily Lakin (Stansbury, Park), Alicia Blackham (Las Vegas, Nev.), Jade Sorensen (Spring, Texas), Melissa Bledsoe (Orem, Utah), Gabriella Santos (Sarasota, Fla.) and Britney Jones-Porter (Spanish Fork, Utah) each scored against Hood (2-5) as the Knights have now tallied 15 goals in their past two home matches—tying last year's total for the entire season.
Palmer, who leads Southern Virginia with six goals this season, started things off for the Knights scoring on an unassisted breakaway down the left side in the 7th minute giving the hosts an early advantage. Playing with the lead, the Knights turned up their offensive pressure as Lakin added another goal twelve minutes later when the sophomore punched in a deflected ball from 18 yards out for her second goal in three games.
Thirty-three seconds before intermission, freshman defender A. Blackham added her first collegiate goal and Southern Virginia's third score of the half on a free kick from 20 yards out, which she bent towards the top left corner of the goal, just over the reach of Hood's keeper.
Neither team scored for the first 20 minutes following halftime until Southern Virginia unleashed an offensive flurry adding four more goals during an 11:23 stretch from the 66th minute to the 77th minute.
Sophomore Sorensen recorded her second goal of the year at the 65:02 mark on an assist from Lakin and then Sorensen returned the favor by setting up classmate Santos eight-and-a-half minutes later as Santos also tallied her second score of 2012.
Between the goals by Sorenson and Santos, freshman Melinda Bledsoe (Orem, Utah) set up her identical twin Melissa Bledsoe for a score as the duo recordered their first collegiate assist and goal on the same play.
Jones-Porter, a sophomore defender for Southern Virginia, rounded out the scoring for the Knights with the day's prettiest goal—a one-timer from 30 yards out on the right side that bent in and found the bottom left corner of the net.
"It seems like we score in bunches and have the ability to really get hot during a match," said sixth-year Head Coach Matt Grawrock. "None of our goals today came on lucky plays. Everything was set up by passing and movement, which tells me our offensive is learning to play together."
Southern Virginia has already scored 21 goals through seven matches in 2012 compared to 15 all of last year. The Knights also have three more assists (10-7) than they had during the entire 2011 season.
Autumn Bronson (Stanton, Calif.) was solid in goal for the Knights as the freshman went all 90 minutes and delivered a two-save shutout in her first career start.
Women's soccer is back in action next Wednesday, Sept. 26 at Ferrum College (2-4). Southern Virginia won a 3-2 overtime thriller at Ferrum last September.
Watch a replay of Saturday's win over hood on Southern Virginia athletics online broadcast portal.