The Kennesaw State women’s soccer team hosted and defeated North Alabama on Sept. 23 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium for their first game against an ASUN opponent this season.
The 3-0 win marked the first time this season that the Owls held their opponent scoreless.
“Shut-outs are big. We made that a point, and they’ve done a great job,” Coach Benji Walton said. “Erin Miller calms things down for them. Dekker is one of the quietest kids you’ll ever meet but she’s tenacious and experienced. Kat (Schreck) is a vet and she’s savvy. They don’t get too rattled back there and that’s what you need. You don’t need jumpy people back there.”
The game was opened up by a shot from outside the box by midfielder Ebony Clarke, which hit the top right corner. Not only did it open up the score for the Owls, but it was also Clarke’s first goal of the season.
At halftime, the Owls were up 1-0, but they didn’t stop there. The second half opened up with the owls dominating the pitch, making great reads and passes, and defending the wings. The defense made the difference in this game, and they were awarded another goal.
A ball was sent over North Alabama’s defense and Cardenas Price used her speed to track the ball, get into the box, and crossed it into the middle of the box between three Lions defenders. It was met with a sliding Kendall Higgs’ and she drilled it into the back of the net. KSU went up 2-0.
The Owls continued with a pass from Jenna Vollrath who found a wide-open Clarke. Clarke, looking for her second goal of the game, found herself one-on-one with the keeper, and with a little shift to the left, made the keeper miss and it was an easy tap for the Washington State transfer. It was a fantastic game from Clarke, who has been battling with an injury for three weeks and made her first game back count.
Kennesaw State had a quick turnaround with little rest as they hosted Jacksonville State just three days later, on Sept. 26 at Fifth Third Bank stadium.
The Owls lost 1-0. They had 20 shots total against the Gamecocks, but couldn’t put one into the back of the net.
“We have to execute in the final third,” Walton said when asked about his team’s performance. “We created a lot of chances. Just didn’t have enough energy in the final third to get on the end of it.”
The Owls, who are now 4-5 on the season and 1-1 in the ASUN tournament, will travel 8 hours to face Central Arkansas, on Sept. 30.