MACON, Ga. (MERCER RELEASE) – The Mercer women's soccer team allowed a pair of early first half goals in a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Western Carolina on Friday evening at Bear Field.
The loss for Mercer (4-4-1) was just its second on its home field over the past two seasons.
"Tonight we played a quality opponent from the SoCon in Western Carolina, a team we will be playing when we switch into that conference next season, and give credit to them they are a good side," head coach Tony Economopoulos said. "They out-played us in the first half and we just weren't our typical selves for some reason. Second half we came out and pushed a little harder, but we just couldn't convert a quality chance."
Western Carolina started its scoring off in the 17th minute of play when a turnover on the Mercer side of the field resulted in a sent in cross that was headed home by junior Caitlyn Bradham to make the score 1-0.
The Catamounts doubled their lead to 2-0 in the 27th minute when senior Kayla Sedgley corralled a deflection in the box and fired a shot by Bears goalkeeper Maggie Cropp.
The Bears tried to come back in the second half with more offensive pressure and three corner kick chances, but it was not enough.
Cropp made five saves in the match, her fifth five-plus save effort of the season.
"We come back on Sunday and take on another SoCon team, in Georgia Southern, who won their conference tournament and played in the NCAA's last season," Economopoulos said. "Georgia Southern has played some quality opponents this season and has had all week to prepare for us since they were off tonight. It's an in-state rival and our last tune-up before conference play starts, so hopefully we can come out with the right mindset and get a result."
Mercer returns to action on Sunday, Sept. 22 when it welcomes in-state rival Georgia Southern into town. Kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Bear Field.