Early goal, Breen's 10 saves boost Pioneers to 1-0 win over Wingate

Danielle Breen had a career-high 10 saves against Wingate (photo by Chuck Williams)
Danielle Breen had a career-high 10 saves against Wingate (photo by Chuck Williams)

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Brooke Radcliffe scored in the fourth minute and Danielle Breen finished with 10 saves as Tusculum University beat Wingate University 1-0 in South Atlantic Conference women's soccer action Sunday afternoon at Pioneer Field.

The Pioneers (6-6-0, 2-3-0 SAC) earned their third straight win despite being outshot 26-4 by the Bulldogs (7-2-1, 5-1-0 SAC), who were the last team without a loss in conference play. Breen's 10 saves shattered her previous career high of six and produced her third consecutive shutout in goal for Tusculum.

Wingate, which was up a player for the final 18 minutes, put three shots off the crossbar and two more off the post behind Breen, and could not take advantage of a 10-0 edge in corner kicks and a 14-1 margin in second-half shots. Breen had seven saves in the first half and three more in the second half for Tusculum.

The Pioneers scored what would be the only goal of the afternoon on the first play, as Radcliffe came up with a turnover in the offensive end and blasted a shot from 25 yards over Bulldog keeper Abbey Frail for a 1-0 Tusculum lead. The goal was just the fifth allowed by Wingate in 10 matches and the first that the Bulldogs gave up in six SAC contests.

Wingate's first shot came in the seventh minute off a corner kick and went high off the foot of Taylor Krakower. Breen made her first save in the eighth minute as she made a diving stop to the near post off a shot from 15 yards by the Bulldogs' Kaitlyn Cox.

Breen added a save on a free kick by Brianna Ditillo in the 17th minute, then watched in the 22nd minute as a shot from 20 yards by McKenna DeLong went off the right post. Breen denied Morgan Zanardi in the 28th minute on a dive toward the far post on a shot from 30 yards, then fought off a shot from Krakower in the 35th minute which the defense cleared away.

Ditillo fired a shot off the top of the crossbar from 30 yards away in the 41st minute, and Breen made her final save of the first half on a shot from the top of the box by Zanardi with just under three minutes remaining. Wingate outshot Tusculum 12-3 in the first half and had a 5-0 edge in corner kicks.

In the second half, Krakower put a shot off the near post from a sharp angle in the 62nd minute, then Breen deflected a blast from Samantha Olson over the crossbar in the 71st minute. One minute later, the Pioneers dropped to 10 following a red card and the Bulldogs increase the pressure against the Tusculum defense. However, Ditillo fired off the top of the crossbar in the 74th minute and Zanardi blasted one square off the crossbar in the 77th minute as Tusculum held on to its 1-0 lead.

Wingate continued to search for the equalizer in the final 10 minutes, but were unable to put a shot on goal around the Tusculum defense of Yvette Raaijen, Ellie Tomassoni, Kate Guildford and Chayse Stonebraker. The last strong chance for the Bulldogs came with 4 1/2 minutes left as Ditillo shot high following a corner kick. Wingate's last shot attempt was wide of target by Alicia Rubio Garcia with 1:16 to go, and the Pioneer defense was able to get several clears as time ran out.

Frail finished with two saves for the Bulldogs, who were called for 16 fouls to 13 by the Pioneers. Each team was flagged once for offsides in the match.

The Pioneers will finish a four-game homestand on Wednesday against Lincoln Memorial, kicking off at 5 p.m. at Pioneer Field.