Black And Gold Soccer Squads Host Final Regular Season Match
PEMBROKE – The UNCP women's and men's soccer teams will host the final regular season matchup on Saturday afternoon against Peach Belt Conference rival Lander at Varsity Grounds in Pembroke, N.C., with the women's game starting at 1 p.m. and the men's game following the conclusion of the women's game.
The UNCP Lady Braves (8-5-3, 3-4-2 PBC) will close out their regular season schedule by hosting the Lander Bearcats in a PBC battle that will be key in determining positioning heading into the conference tournament.
The Lady Braves enter the matchup having gone 0-3-2 in their last five matchups after winning three-straight prior to the start of their last five-game stretch. In the squad's only matchup of the week, UNCP fell to intra-state rival Catawba by a 1-0 final in overtime on Tuesday in Salisbury. It was the seventh game this season for UNCP that went into extra time and the Lady Braves are 1-3-3 in those matchups.
Saturday will serve as Senior Day for UNCP's lone senior, Rebecca Womack. Womack, who started the season on a tear with four goals though the first three games, was lost to injury for the season in UNCP's 1-1 tie at Mount Olive on Sept. 7.
Junior Andrea Collèn continues to lead the team in goals (seven), assists (five) and points (19) and those numbers place her tied for ninth, tied for fourth and tied for ninth in the conference, respectively. Freshman Amalia Arvidsson leads the team with 50 shots on the season and is second in goals (five) and points (13) and is also tied for second with Ashley Anctil for second on the team with five assists.
Sophomore Britney Bennett is currently is currently third in the leage, and first among goalkeepers with at least five starts with a .888 saves percentage on the season. That number places her 14th nationally in the category.
Lander (12-3-1, 5-3-1 PBC) enters the matchup having won six of its last eight contests, but fell to North Georgia on Oct. 22 in its last matchup.
Jamie Shaw leads the team with nine goals on the season while Christina Barbour leads the team with 22 points coming off seven goals and eight assists.
Chelsea Beetch holds a 0.76 goals against average and an .800 saves percentage on the season.
UNCP is 4-5-3 all-time in the series and the two teams battled to a 0-0 tie in Greenwood in 2010.
The Braves were led by newcomer Adam Smith as he registered the lone goal of the match in the 51st minute to deliver the 1-0 shutout victory over PBC opponent Francis Marion on Wednesday in Florence, S.C. Smith registered his fourth goal of the season to put the Braves on the scoreboard as he gathered the ball at the top of the box and shot into the upper left corner of the net past a diving keeper.
Sam Miles leads the PBC in goals (12), points (28) and shots (59), while Shaun Herselman and Smith are second in the league in assists with five. UNCP is first in the nation in Division II in scoring offense and ninth in total goals.
This is the seventh time in 20 years the men's soccer has registered 10 or more wins in a season, and the first time in the Phil Hindson era.
Lander split its games last week as the team took a victory on Wednesday over USC Aiken before suffering a loss to North Georgia over the weekend. Led by Brett Jankouskas' two goals, the Bearcats posted its biggest win of the season when they defeated USC Aiken, 6-0. The victory was the Bearcats' third shutout of the year.
On Saturday, North Georgia posted a 3-0 shutout victory over the Bearcats. Jankouskas and Chris Hobbs are tied for second in the league in goals scored (9) and fourth in points scored (19).
UNCP and Lander will meet for the 29th time on Saturday in a series in a series controlled by the Bearcats. Lander will bring a 20-6-2 series advantage going into the game, as well as a seven-game unbeaten streak. Last season, the Braves suffered a 1-2 loss during the regular season at Lander Soccer Complex before Lander scored a pair of goals in each half en route to advancing in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament with a 4-1 win over the Black and Gold in Greenwood, S.C.