GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Kayla Durden scored her second match-winning goal of the season, and Courtney Turner added a pair of assists to lead the No. 21 Tusculum College women’s soccer team to a 5-1 win over Tennessee Wesleyan College on Wednesday night at Pioneer Field.
Tusculum (14-3-1) controlled the run of play for much of the match, outshooting the Bulldogs (5-10-1) by a 32-9 margin, including a 19-1 edge in the first half. Senior goalkeeper Vanessa Fyffe played the final 58 minutes for the Pioneers on senior night, making two saves in relief of Rachael Jennings, who started the match and did not face a shot through the initial 33 minutes. Tiffani Martin played the full 90 minutes in net for the Bulldogs, making 14 saves.
Durden paced the Pioneers with a goal and an assist, while Turner tied a career-high with two helpers on the night. Kourtney Kavic, Cassy Melnike and Claire Duncan each found the back of the net for the Pioneers, as freshman Chelsea Slayter capped TC’s four-goal first half with her first collegiate goal. Tramicka James, Amber Bradley, and Jillian Cunha each added an assist on the night to contribute to the well-balanced Pioneer attack.
Tusculum opened the scoring less than two minutes into the first half, when Kavic took control of a cross from Durden inside the Wesleyan area and delivered a perfect finish into the back of net for her sixth goal of the season and the early 1-0 lead. Durden extended the advantage to 2-0 midway through the 16th minute with her seventh goal of the season, when James delivered a perfect cross to the far post off a lead pass from Bradley, leaving Durden with an easy tap-in into an open net.
The Pioneers struck again 10 minutes later when Melnike delivered a brilliant header into the back off the net off a well-struck corner kicker by Turner, extending the advantage to 3-0 with her second goal of the season. Tusculum widened the margin to 4-0 late in the 32nd minute when Cunha set up Slayter at the top of the Bulldog area, leaving the freshman in perfect position to deliver a driven strike past the Wesleyan keeper for the first goal of her career.
The Pioneers added a fifth goal early in the second half, extending the advantage to 5-0 on Duncan’s sixth goal of the season in the 47th minute off a corner kick by Turner. Tennessee Wesleyan erased the shutout bid midway through the 89th minute when Helen Collins headed a cross from Kelly Stanton inside the far post to cut the margin to 5-1.
Tusculum returns to the pitch on Saturday when the Pioneers travel to Hickory, N.C. to conclude their South Atlantic Conference schedule with a 2 p.m. matchup with Lenoir-Rhyne University.
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