09/07/09 — College women's soccer: Trojans, Railsplitters battle to 1-1 draw

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College women's soccer: Trojans, Railsplitters battle to 1-1 draw

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 7, 2009 10:33 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The injury is a distant memory.

So is Mount Olive's offensive futility.

Lindsey Stanley accounted for the Trojans' lone goal in a 1-1, non-conference draw against perennial Division II power Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.) University on Sunday afternoon. Mount Olive halted its six-match scoreless streak that began late last season.

Less than 12 months ago, Stanley sustained a devastating right leg injury. The Fayetteville native broke the femur, and tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and lateral collateral ligament (LCL). She returned to the pitch Tuesday against Wingate University and looked more comfortable against LMU, ranked No. 8 in the Southeast Region poll.

"(The leg) feels great," said Stanley.

Nothing, however, proved more exhilarating than scoring a goal.

Mount Olive (0-2-1 overall) drew a foul just outside the 18-yard box. Stanley set up and blasted a free kick that floated toward the goal, and over keeper Sarah Thompson's head into the net. The Trojans led 1-0 with five-plus minutes remaining in regulation.

"I've been practicing my free kicks, luckily," grinned Stanley. "I just tried to curve it back in and it happened for me. I was hoping if I didn't make it, somebody would be there."

The Railsplitters answered.

Controlling possession and creating open space, LMU collected the equalizer just 2 1/2 minutes later. Midfielder Sarah Taylor received a through ball, dribbled toward the left side of the 18-yard box and crossed back to Becky Thompson.

A junior forward, Thompson connected on a perfect one-touch strike.

"We have a very young group and sometimes it's tempting to sit back and give a player space when you don't want (to)," said third-year MOC coach Matt Hisler. "But, it's going to happen no matter who you play in terms of giving up possession and giving up some attacks. To play even like that with a team that good is an accomplishment for our group."

Each team misfired on corner-kick opportunities in the first 10-minute overtime. The Trojans were turned back on two shots in the second overtime, while MOC keeper Lyndsey McIntyre (six saves) kept the Railsplitters off the board.

Mount Olive started six freshmen, four sophomores and one senior.

"We're real young, so it's going to take us some time to get used to playing together and to get some experience," said Stanley. "I think this is just one step forward for us and we'll get more comfortable with each other. Today was a good starting point."

Mount Olive earned its first-ever tie against a South Atlantic Conference school in 18 meetings since 2001. According to NCAA statistics, the Trojans are 6-9-5 all-time in overtime games during that same stretch.