Trojans rally, advance in tournament
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on November 3, 2004 1:56 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Falling behind early by one goal can often demoralize a young soccer team -- especially in a big game.
Mount Olive's women's team used a 1-0 deficit on Tuesday to Limestone in the quarterfinals of the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference tournament as a wake-up call.
After allowing a goal to the Saints in the fifth minute, the Trojans bounced back with three goals of their own before intermission as the defense steadily improved in a 4-1 win at Trojan Field.
The win was Mount Olive's fourth of the season after giving up the first goal.
Mount Olive (18-3-0), which won its first quarterfinal tournament game in school history, now moves on to face Pfeiffer in the semifinals on Friday at 1:30 p.m. at Belmont Abbey. The Falcons defeated the Trojans 1-0 in Misenheimer in the second game of the season, handing Mount Olive its first of only two conference losses.
"We've been setting new goals as we accomplish things ... some we didn't know we could at the first of the season," Mount Olive coach Chris Shaw said. "Our goal today was to get to Belmont Abbey. Now our goal is to get to the finals.
"I think the girls want some revenge. They still feel like that was a game (Pfeiffer) we could have come away with a better result."
The Trojans were missing starting midfielder April Jacobs when they faced the Falcons on Sept. 1.
Tuesday, Mount Olive's speed and control up front proved to be too much for a physical Limestone (7-12-0) team.
The conference's leading scorer Melanie Cobb posted two goals, both on assists from right midfielder Lauren Slattum, giving Cobb 26 goals on the season. Emily Escolas and Heidi Philip scored one goal each with left midfielder Kate Painter notching assists on the final two goals.
Painter now has 11 assists on the season, while Slattum has dished out eight assists.
Jacobs and Philip, along with the defenders, consistently found Slattum and Painter down the wings, who dribbled past the outside defenders. In the 16th minute, Slattum stole a pass near midfield and dashed down the right wing. Slattum found a wide-open Cobb in the middle, who quickly put away the first of her two goals.
Eleven minuets later, Cobb used her speed to chase down a long pass from Slattum and fired past Limestone goalie Liz Eichhorn to give the Trojans a 2-1 lead.
Escolas capped the first half scoring -- receiving a pass from Painter, slipping, then recovering to knock in a right-footed shot just before intermission.
Meanwhile, Mount Olive's defense and midfielders contained Limestone up front. Erin Hoffman's early goal on a breakaway proved to be the Saints' most dangerous attack. Trojan senior goalie Heather Ressler finished with six saves as Mount Olive held an opponent to one goal or less for the 18th time this season.
"I wasn't real happy with our performance defensively in the first 10 or 15 minutes," Shaw said. "Whether or not the goal made them wake up and get that done, I don't know. I think they did step it up, and that was a good thing. I was starting to get worried at first, because we started out a little soft."
Seven minutes into the second half, Philip took a drop-pass from Painter, took a dribble -- then drilled a shot from the top of the left side of the 18-yard box past Eichhorn at the back post to push the game to its final margin at 4-1.
The Trojans improved to 11-0 at home this season.
"It's something that we talk about before every home game," Shaw said. "The team takes a lot of pride in being able to win at home. No one out works us at home and nobody beats us at home. We take more passion into the match when we are in front of our home crowd."
2004 Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference
Women's Soccer Tournament
(at Mount Olive College)
Limestone 1 0 -- 1
Mount Olive 3 1 -- 4
LC -- Hoffman (Zgraggen assist), 5:54
MOC -- Cobb (Slattum assist), 16:45
MOC -- Cobb (Slattum assist), 27:58
MOC -- Escolas (Painter, Cobb assist), 43:57
MOC -- Philip (Painter assist), 52:43
Shots 10 15
Corner kicks 2 5
Offsides 3 2
Fouls 15 8
Saves -- Limestone -- Eichhorn 5. Mount Olive -- Ressler 6.
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