Pioneers shut down Shaw in 2-0 victory

Pioneers shut down Shaw in 2-0 victory

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum University women's soccer team defeated Shaw University 2-0 in a non-conference match Tuesday afternoon at Pioneer Field.

Kaitlyn Watson scored just under five minutes into the first half, and Brooke Radcliffe added a penalty-kick goal in the final minute for the Pioneers (6-4-2), who extended their unbeaten streak to four matches (three wins, one tie) by outshooting the Bears (7-2-0), the highest-scoring team in Division II at 4.43 goals per game, by a 20-7 margin.

Tusculum goalkeeper Hannah Graham finished with three saves to earn her second shutout of the season, while Shaw keeper Caylie Hartman made several acrobatic saves among her 10 stops in the match.

The Tusculum defense shut down Shaw freshman forward Jasa Curry, who entered the day tied for sixth in Division II in goals (12) and tied for seventh in points (29), while leading all Division II players in goals per game (1.71) and points per game (4.14). Curry hit the crossbar with a shot in the seventh minute and was stopped by Graham with just under nine minutes left for her only two shot attempts in the match.

Tusculum opened the scoring at 4:57 as a corner kick from Nicole McMillen was headed by the defense to Watson at the top of the box, who rifled her first career goal over the head of Hartman.

Hartman made a kick-save on a shot attempt by the Pioneers' Katja Andersson from 15 yards away in the 35th minute. Meanwhile, the Bears finally put their first attempt on target in the 41st minute as Graham collected a long attempt by MKenzie Safford.

Radcliffe nearly gave the Pioneers a 2-0 lead in the 70th minute, but her shot from the left side caromed squarely off the left post. Radcliffe would be denied again in the 73rd minute as Hartman made a great leaping save off a header from close range. The Pioneers continued to bring the pressure in the closing minutes, with Hartman again keeping the Bears within a goal as she denied Watson on a blast ticketed top corner with 3:43 left.

Finally, with just under a minute to play, Radcliffe was dragged down by the arm in the box and earned a penalty kick, which she converted with 49 seconds to play to give the Pioneers the 2-0 lead.

Each team was whistled for nine fouls in the match, while Tusculum was flagged for offsides five times to once for Shaw. The Pioneers also had a 6-3 edge in corner kicks over the Bears.

Tusculum will return to South Atlantic Conference action on Saturday at Anderson, with a 5 p.m. start against the Trojans.