Jaguar Soccer Closes Out Home Schedule With Pair of Wins

October 20, 2014 · By · Filed Under Soccer, Sun Belt Conference 

USA_SoccerSouth Alabama used two late goals by Charde Hannah to extend their unbeaten streak to a school-record 12 matches with a 2-0 win over Georgia Southern Friday night at The Cage.

Hannah’s two goals, her 15th and 16th of the season and leads the Sun Belt, in the 85th and 90th minutes of the match ties her for second place in school history and her 38 points are fifth-best in school history.

The first goal came when the took advantage of a short pass to the goalkeeper by taking control of the loose ball then put it into the empty net. The second goal came off of a pass from Rio Hardy after they played a 1-2 outside the box.

In the first half the Jags held an 11-1 shot advantage over the Eagles, but were even with each team having eight shots.

Sarah Hay made three saves in her seventh shutout and the teams ninth of the season, both are tops in the conference.

“Right now with all of these teams beating each other in the league, all we can do is focus on ourselves and I’m pleased we got the result,” Jaguar head coach Graham Winkworth said after the match. “I thought the first half, even though we went in 0-0, was probably better from a playing standpoint than the second, but at the same time, we got the result and I’m proud of the girls for digging in.

“Often things open up in the second half when teams make adjustments. (Georgia Southern) coach (Brian) Dunleavy is a very good coach—he made some adjustments and we made some adjustments so the game opens up a little bit. At the same time, as it opens up for them, it opens up for us as well, and fortunately we were able to put a couple in the net.”

On Sunday, junior Jordan Duncan’s header proved to be only goal of the match and extended the school-record unbeaten streak the 13 matches with a 1-0 win over Georgia State.

“It was a physical game,” coach Winkworth said. “Both teams work extremely hard and you expect that sometimes when teams are very athletic and hardworking. Georgia State is a hardworking team, so a lot of credit to them. It was a close game and we were just fortunate we defended well throughout and I’m proud of our team’s effort. It was a good, positive result for us and it puts us a little closer to start talking more about finishing high at the table.”

Duncan’s goal, her sixth of the season but only her first since September, came in the 29th minute. Freshman Sophie Haywood found Sophomore Emily Farrell out wide, who then lifted a cross that Duncan was able to head into the upper right corner of the net against the Panther goalkeeper.

“It was a very nice goal,” Winkworth observed about the game-winning goal. “It’s funny because we played keepy-uppy with headers yesterday in practice because I was frustrated from the day before, so it’s funny that the goal came from her head. I told her it was all because of our practice yesterday and she was laughing at me.”

South Alabama’s defense held the Panthers to only five shots total and only one shot on goal. Sarah Hay made one save for her eighth shutout of the season.

The Jags had 22 shots, 11 on goal and two that hit the crossbar.

“The defense was fantastic,” Winkworth said. “They won first balls, they won second balls and they didn’t allow the ball to bounce like they did on Friday night. I’m really proud of their effort; they did exactly what we asked them to do and I can’t speak highly enough of them.

“From an attacking standpoint, the attack began with them so I’m proud of the way we played with the ball at the back. It was great work from our backline.”

South Alabama will close out the regular season next weekend in Arkansas with a Friday afternoon match against Arkansas State and Sunday at Arkansas-Little Rock.

The Jaguars are tops in the conference with 19 points with a 14-2-1 record overall and a 6-0-1 record in conference play. Texas State sits in second place with 15 conference points and a 10-5-1 record overall and 5-2 record in conference play.

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