GRANVILLE, Ohio -- Mount Union entered the 2012 season having never beaten Denison in a women's soccer match.
That all changed on Saturday afternoon.
The Big Red held an 11-0-2 advantage over Mount Union in the all-time series entering the day and looked poised to continue its winning over the Purple Raiders in the game's early goings. Denison mounted numerous scoring threats in the first half, outshooting the Raiders 11-0.
Mount Union's defense held strong throughout the half however, and sophomore goalkeeper Maria Favorite (Chesterland/Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin) posted three saves. After 45 minutes of play, the Raiders and Big Red were scoreless.
In the second half, Denison continued its aggressive play and finally broke through in the 48th minute. Big Red senior Sarah Livingston crossed a ball from the right into the box, where Jocelyn Festle was able to push a shot from point-blank range past Favorite.
Denison held its 1-0 advantage for just over 10 minutes.
In the 58th minute, the Mount Union offense finally came through. Freshman Kolbie Haines (Hudson/Hudson) found an opening in the Big Red defense and controlled the ball in the left corner of the field. She then took the ball toward the goal line and crossed the ball about five yards in front of the net. The ball found the foot of sophomore Nicole Moldovan (Cortland/Lakeview), who punched the ball into the lower-right corner of the goal past Denison keeper Andrea Karl. The goal, which came on the first Raider shot of the afternoon, marked Mount Union's first of the season and leveled the match.
The next 20 minutes were evenly played by the Raiders and Big Red. Denison was able to get off two shots in the 70th and 78th minutes but could not score.
After Favorite thwarted Denison's scoring attempt in the 78th minute, the Raiders put together a counter attack. When Favorite kicked the ball out of danger, sophomore Gina Wall (Warren/Howland) headed the ball up the right sideline and into the Denison half of the field. The Big Red defense was able to corral the ball and play it back to the keeper Karl.
Karl attempted to clear the ball upfield but misplayed the ball to Mount Union freshman Shannon Evans (Newbury/Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin). Evans then rifled a shot from the right side of the box into the lower left portion of the net to give the Raiders a 2-1 lead. For Evans, it was the first of her young career.
Denison put two shots on goal (four total) in the final 12 minutes of the match but Mount Union fought off the Big Red attack to secure the win.
The win over Denison (0-1) was the first in Mount Union (1-0) school history. The Big Red defeated the Raiders 6-0 in the two school's last meeting (2008).
Favorite posted seven saves in the victory. Mount Union took just two shots the entire match but both found the back of the net. Denison outshot the Raiders 21-2 for the afternoon.
Mount Union will have little time to celebrate the win, however. The Raiders take the field tomorrow afternoon in Gambier, Ohio, against Kenyon. Match time is slated for 1 p.m.
Mount Union (1-0) at Denison (0-1)
Date: Sept 1, 2012 Attendance: 220
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Mount Union......... 0 2 - 2
Denison................ 0 1 - 1
|Denison||47:04||Jocelyn Festle (1) (Sara Livingston)||thru ball after deflected cross by Livin|
|Mount Union||57:17||Nicole Moldovan (1) (Kolbie Haines)||crossed from endline. open goal punched|
|Mount Union||77:18||Shannon Evans (1) (unassisted)||scored on open goal after misplay by kee|