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Early goal holds up for Coker in 1-0 win over Pioneers

Early goal holds up for Coker in 1-0 win over Pioneers

HARTSVILLE, S.C. --- A goal in the eighth minute stood for Coker University as the Cobras defeated Tusculum University 1-0 in South Atlantic Conference women's soccer action Saturday afternoon.

Liz Crowe scored at 7:59 for the Cobras (3-0-2, 2-0-0 SAC), who were outshot 9-5 by the Pioneers (4-2-0, 0-2-0 SAC) but continued their streak of not allowing a goal all season. Coker keeper Sarah Swaim needed to make just one save to record her fifth straight shutout to open the year.

Coker had the first chance of the afternoon just over two minutes into the first half as Abbie Boling came up with a loose ball just inside the top of the box, but Tusculum keeper Grayson Patterson reached an arm out to knock down Boling's shot attempt.

The Pioneers' first opportunity came in the 7th minute as Brianna Garcia found a loose ball all alone to the right of Swaim, but her chip shot just missed the top corner.

Less than two minutes later, Crowe would get the only goal of the day as she played a give-and-go in the box with Catrionna Manning and went high over Patterson for her first goal of the season at 7:59.

Tusculum countered in the 10th minute with a free kick from the far left wing, but Marja Enste's attempt missed just over the crossbar. The Pioneers' only shot on goal in the match would happen in the 18th minute as Garcia broke down the left side but could only roll a shot to Swaim from 20 yards as the Cobra defense closed.

Sydney Grant nearly collected the equalizer in the 25th minute as she got open to the left of Swaim, but sent a shot wide of the near post. Enste put a corner kick off the crossbar in the 31st minute, but the ball continued out of danger to the far sideline.

In the second half, Tusculum continued to press the Coker goal but could not find the equalizer. Emma Whitaker headed an Enste corner kick wide of the near post in the 51st minute and Enste sent a 35-yard free kick wide of the frame in the 74th minute and another over the target in the 81st minute.

Coker, which was content to play defense and preserve their one-goal lead, had a flurry of activity in the Tusculum end in the 83rd minute but Chloe Mullen had a shot deflect wide and Nour Noujaim missed wide off a corner on what would be the final shot attempt for either team with 7:04 left.

Tusculum finished the match with a 5-4 edge in corner kicks over Coker, while the Cobras were called for nine fouls to seven by the Pioneers. Tusculum was flagged three times for offsides while Coker was caught twice.

The Pioneers will return to the road to face Mars Hill on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 5 p.m. The Lions are off to a 3-2-0 start this season and are 0-1 in conference play.

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