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September 5, 2013

Women's Soccer Opens Season with Hard-Fought Loss

Written by Daniel Whitehead

BUENA VISTA, Va.—Despite a strong effort by the Southern Virginia University women's soccer team to open the 2013 season, the visiting Bridgewater College Eagles left victorious with a 2-0 win Wednesday night at The Fields.

Bridgewater (2-0) was able to score a goal in the 55th minute to secure the lead and managed to maintain momentum en route to the win. The Eagles' Alli Shaffer received a cross from Melanie Waters and was able to sneak it past Southern Virginia (0-1) keeper MaKenzie Cox.

The game was historic for the Southern Virginia soccer program as it was played under the lights for the first time in school history.

"It was amazing to play under the lights," Southern Virginia Director of Soccer Matt Grawrock said. "It's a great sign of the progress of the university and athletics to play on the field at night. It was a great feeling to see that take place."

Bridgewater increased the lead to 2-0 following a goal at the 80:48 mark when Kelly Patterson broke away from the Knights' defensive back line and shot the ball into the corner of the net beyond Cox's outstretched arms.

Southern Virginia senior Bryndel Kindred-Lytle earned a shot attempt on goal, while freshman Reilly Anderson also achieved a shot attempt at the Eagles' net.

"I think we have improved since our scrimmage last week against Hollins," Grawrock said. "We were pretty sloppy in both the goals that were scored on us. Our forwards were very attack-minded but not quite on the same page, so we'll work on that."

In the loss, Southern Virginia goalie Cox had five saves, including three in the second half.  Bridgewater's Kelsey Hecker improves to 2-0-0 for the year.

"I'm happy with where we are as a team," Grawrock said. "These pre-conference games mean much more now in our preparation for the league. It wasn't that way in the past when we'd just play game by game. We now feel there's something greater to work for, and we'll work on improving as a team before conference begins."

The Knights next compete Friday evening at Lynchburg. Kickoff is set for 9 p.m.