Pioneers cruise to 6-0 win over Coker

Pioneers cruise to 6-0 win over Coker

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tusculum scored three times in each half and rolled to a 6-0 victory over Coker Sunday in South Atlantic Conference women's soccer action at Pioneer Field.

Kate Guildford scored twice in the second half for the Pioneers, Carlie Thornber had a goal and an assist and Carly Culler had two assists for the Pioneers (8-3-0, 5-1-0 SAC), who improved to 5-0 at home by outshooting the Cobras (1-8-1, 0-6-0 SAC) by a 22-3 margin.

Sonja Ballmert, Carly Mill and Jordan Newby also scored for the Pioneers, who led 2-0 after nine minutes and 3-0 at the half before adding three goals in a span of 16 minutes midway through the second half. The six goals were the most for the Pioneers in a single match since a 6-0 victory over Brevard on Sept. 26, 2012.

Goalkeeper Hannah Graham made two saves for her fourth shutout of the season, all at home. Graham has not allowed a goal at Pioneer Field in 360 minutes of action this season, while the team has outscored its opponents 13-1 in five home matches this year.

The Pioneers went right to work against the Cobra defense, forcing keeper Shelby Middleton to make a save on a strong attempt from Brooke Radcliffe just 3 1/2 minutes into the first half. Following the ensuing corner kick, Radcliffe was fouled in the box and Ballmert stepped up to take the penalty. Ballmert blasted a rocket to the upper left corner for her third goal of the season and a 1-0 Tusculum lead at 4:13.

Just over four minutes later, the Pioneers earned another corner kick and Nicole McMillan's service was to the head of Thornber, who dropped in her first goal of the season for a 2-0 Tusculum lead at 8:27.

After Coker picked up its first shot of the match at 15:36 on a try by Phoebie Eshen, the Pioneers nearly made it 3-0 as Cheyenne Upton got behind Middleton but saw the ball knocked away by the Cobras' Dominique Walker. Tusculum also had a goal wiped out in the 23rd minute on an offsides call.

The Pioneers were able to extend their lead to 3-0 at 33:57 as Thornber fed Culler down the right side, and her cross was headed in by Mill for her first goal of the season. Coker had what would be its only two shots on goal in the final six minutes of the first half, but Graham made saves on a free kick by Grayson Chappell and a try from the right side by Lillia Rodriguez.

The second half was all Pioneers as the Cobras were held without a shot or a corner kick. Newby had a chance in the 52nd minute from close range that was stopped by Middleton, followed by another save on Newby and a stop on Upton.

Newby finally solved Middleton at 60:09 for her fourth goal of the season, as Payton DeHart fed her on a perfect through ball. Just over two minutes later, Guildford found a loose ball in the box and put home her second of the season at 62:23 for a 5-0 Tusculum lead.

After Coker's Ashley Hogg had a goal called back due to offsides, Guildford would collect her second goal of the day at 75:56 as Culler corralled a Coker turnover and made the through pass.

Tusculum shut out Coker 12-0 on corner kicks and had nine fouls to five by the Cobras. The Pioneers had all 12 shot attempts in the second half, with Middleton finishing with six saves in her first start of the season.

The Pioneers will head to Mars Hill Friday at 5 p.m. for a SAC matchup with the Lions.