Wingate defeats Tusculum 3-1 in regular-season finale

Wingate defeats Tusculum 3-1 in regular-season finale

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Wingate defeated Tusculum 3-1 in a South Atlantic Conference women's soccer match Saturday evening at Pioneer Field.

Playing in a steady rain, the Bulldogs (9-3-0, 8-2-0 SAC) received a goal and an assist from Kaitlyn Fletcher and two assists from Kimmi Moore to clinch the number-two seed in next week's SAC Championship tournament.

Rachel Roberts scored midway through the second half for the Pioneers (10-6-0, 7-3-0 SAC), who finished fourth in the SAC standings and will host Lenoir-Rhyne in a SAC Championship quarterfinal match Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Pioneer Field.

Tusculum had the first four shot attempts of the match, with Brooke Radcliffe putting one on goal that was stopped by Wingate keeper Alexis Jones in the second minute. Fletcher had the first shot attempt of the match in the 11th minute for the Bulldogs.

Wingate took a 1-0 lead at 23:49 as Moore collected a pass from Gabby Fleischli and took a shot that was saved by Tusculum keeper Hannah Graham, but Fleischli put home the rebound for her third goal of the season.

In the second half, Graham kept the Pioneers within 1-0 as she made a diving stop on a shot by the Bulldogs' Carly Veit in the 50th minute. Wingate would take a 2-0 lead at 62:56 as Moore's pass to Veit was quickly sent to Fletcher, who was behind the defense and put home her first goal of the season.

Less than two minutes later, Tusculum got on the board as a cross from Carly Culler was flicked by Carly Mill to Roberts, who went short side for her third goal of the season at 64:27.

The Bulldogs would restore their two-goal lead at 76:16 as Caileigh Apicella found Fletcher down the right side, whose cross was fired home by Colleen Zickert for her fifth goal of the season. Taylor Krakower nearly added a goal for Wingate four minutes later, but she shot wide left on a one-on-one chance with Graham. The Bulldogs had the final six shots of the match after the Pioneers' Kate Guildford was stopped by Jones on a shot with 18:53 remaining.

Jones made four saves in goal for the Bulldogs, while Graham finished with five saves for the Pioneers. Wingate finished the match with a 17-12 advantage in shots over Tusculum, including 12-5 in the second half. The Pioneers were whistled for 10 fouls to seven for the Bulldogs, and Tusculum had four corner kicks while Wingate took two.

Tusculum defeated Lenoir-Rhyne 2-1 on the road on Sept. 16 as Jordan Newby and Sonja Ballmert scored in the final 5 1/2 minutes to erase a 1-0 Bears lead. The match will be the first meeting between the schools in the SAC Championship tournament since 2009.