Outshot 26-5, but two goals from James and 14 saves by Williams key victory
NEWLAND, N.C. --- Despite being outshot by a lopsided 26-5 margin, the Tusculum College women's soccer team defeated host Lees-McRae College 3-0 in a non-conference match played at Avery High School.
Freshman Marissa Williams turned in a standout performance for the Pioneers (2-1), making 14 saves, while Jana Linke scored just before halftime and Tramicka James added two second-half goals to provide insurance.
The 14 saves by Williams are tied for the third-most in a game in program history, and are the most since Tori Hadjopoulos made 14 stops in a 1-0 win at Columbus State on August 31, 2007.
James' two goals give her four in the Pioneers' first three matches, and increased her career total to 32 to move her into a tie for fourth on the program's all-time list with Kelly Barron (2005-08). James also moved into sixth place on the Tusculum career points list with 76 (32 goals, 12 assists).
The Bobcats (0-2) completely dominated the first half against the Pioneers, taking the first 14 shots. However, Williams stymied Lees-McRae time and again and finished with 10 saves in the half. Just seconds before halftime, the Pioneers were awarded a free kick and Linke connected from 35 yards with nine seconds left to send Tusculum to the half with a 1-0 lead.
The Pioneers nursed the 1-0 lead until the midpoint of the second half, when James scored her third goal of the season at 66:40 following a Bobcat giveaway. The Bobcats continued to pepper the Pioneer net even with the two-goal deficit, taking seven shots in the final 20 minutes, but Williams made two more saves to preserce the clean sheet. James finished the scoring off a turnover by the Bobcats with 44 seconds remaining.
In addition to their shot advantage, the Bobcats held a 5-1 edge in corner kicks. Both teams were called for seven fouls, and the Pioneers were whistled for offsides three times.
Alicia Pierson started in goal for Lees-McRae and allowed a goal on the only shot she faced. Kaitlyn Briggs took over for the second half and yielded both of James' tallies while making one save.
Tusculum will continue action on Friday at 5 p.m. against Nova Southeastern in a match to be played at Georgia College in Milledgeville, Ga.
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