Multiple Contributions Propel WCU Women’s Soccer Past Wofford
Junior Naya Marcil scored a goal and dished out a pair of assists as five different Catamounts lit the scoreboard in a 5-0 triumph over Wofford for Western Carolina women’s soccer in Southern Conference action Sunday afternoon at the Catamount Athletics Complex.
WCU improves to 6-3-3 overall and 3-1 in the Southern Conference with the win while Wofford drops to 3-8-2 and 1-3. The five goals scored by the Catamounts equal a season-high as the squad tallied five goals in a 5-1 win at Winthrop on Aug. 23.
“It’s always great when you can play a game where you can get a win and play a lot of people and gain experience,” said head coach Chad Miller. “In the first half, I thought we weren’t as clinical as we need to be in front of the net. We created a lot of opportunities and coming into halftime with only a 1-0 lead was disappointing. I felt like we could have gotten a few more goals.”
The Catamounts didn’t take long to get on the scoreboard, scoring the first goal of the match in the eighth minute. After being awarded a corner kick, Marcil played the ball into the box to Katelyn Galbraith. She served the ball to Maggie Lloyd, who tallied her second goal of the season for a 1-0 lead. WCU carried that one-goal advantage into halftime despite outshooting the Terriers 12-0.
“At halftime we talked about having a relentless mentality and getting in the box and finishing,” explained Miller. “What I feel is most rewarding today is we had five different players score goals, including three with their first college goals which is awesome.”
The refocus at intermission paid dividends early in the second half as Marcil gave the Catamounts a 2-0 lead with a goal just 41 seconds into the second stanza. Marcil intercepted a Wofford pass and beat the Terrier goalkeeper one-on-one. She recorded her second assist of the contest in the 52nd minute, sending in a corner kick that Becca Campbell headed in for her first goal of the season and of her WCU career.
A pair of freshmen also tallied their first collegiate goals in the win. In the 67th minute, Abbi Morrell crossed a ball to a waiting Sofia Goclowski, who headed the ball off the post and into the net to put WCU ahead 4-0. In the final minute, Maddie Lopez scored her first goal with an assist by Sophie Burchfield on a ball that bounced over the Wofford goalkeeper’s head and off the crossbar into the yawning cage.
“The ability to get some people minutes who haven’t gotten significant minutes was great. That experience is really important to our group. It’s exciting to see players come off the bench who may not get a ton of minutes score goals and be rewarded for the hard work they put in,” said Miller.
The WCU defense recorded its sixth shutout of the year and second in as many games. Keeper Leanne Trudel made one save on just one shot coming in 68 minutes while Eden Reece was blemish-free in the final 22 minutes in relief.
WCU closes out a four-match homestand on Thursday, hosting Chattanooga at 6 p.m. in SoCon play before a road match at Mercer on Oct. 8. Both matches will be streamed on ESPN+ (paid subscription required) with free live stats available on CatamountSports.com.
“This next week is a really big week in our season,” said Miller. “You’re talking about Chattanooga who is the defending league champion and off to a good start and then Mercer, which is always a tough place to play. These two games are some of our biggest tests of the season. We’ll enjoy the win tonight, recover tomorrow (Monday) and then Tuesday start getting prepared for Chattanooga.”