By Wesley Evans
BUENA VISTA, Va.—In its final regular season game, the Southern Virginia University women's soccer team fell to the University of Mary Washington (9-9) by a close 2-1 margin Tuesday afternoon at The Fields in Buena Vista, Va.
The loss has the Knights finishing the regular season with a 6-10-1 overall record while completing their first ever league schedule in the Capital Athletic Conference.
In a tightly contested match, Southern Virginia managed 10 shots for the game to the Eagles' 11.
The Knights got off to a quick start as Lora Palmer scored her 13th goal of the season from the top of the box off an assist from sophomore Alicia Blackham in only the fifth minute of play. The 1-0 lead didn't last long for Southern Virginia as Mary Washington responded with Erin Reynolds finding the back of the net only four minutes later to even the score at 1-1.
The rest of the first half featured a back-and-forth battle with neither team being able to put the ball past the keeper. Alysa Winter, Kora Jewell, Lora Palmer and Tatiana Monsen all recorded shots on goal for the Knights.
As the second half got under way, both teams had a change of goalies with the Knights' Autum Bronson replacing freshman Kaneesha Goodworth. On the other side, the Eagles' Alyssa Goodwin replaced Sara Armor. It was another defensive battle for the majority the second half as both squads sought to gain control.
A goal by Mary Washington's Excy Herrera in the 81st minute increased the Eagles' lead to 2-1, which would end up being the final score of the match. Southern Virginia freshman Kora Jewell had a chance to tie as she recorded a shot on goal with only two minutes remaining, but keeper Alyssa Goodwin made the save that sealed the victory.
Goalkeepers Kaneesha Goodworth and Autumn Bronson recorded four and two saves, respectively, for the Knights out of eight shots on goal.
While still being in the provisional stage of NCAA Division III athletics, women's soccer will be unable to participate in the Capital Athletic Conference tournament, but will travel to Chicago, Ill., to face off against the Illinois Institute of Technology on Friday, Nov. 8, in a postseason tournament designed specifically for NCAA provisional institutions. The match is slated to begin at 6 p.m. EST.