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Pioneers grab first win of season over Young Harris, 2-1

Ellie Tomassoni celebrates her go-ahead goal against Young Harris with teammates Kate Guildford and Kaitlyn Watson (photo by Chuck Williams)
Ellie Tomassoni celebrates her go-ahead goal against Young Harris with teammates Kate Guildford and Kaitlyn Watson (photo by Chuck Williams)

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. --- Ellie Tomassoni scored the go-ahead goal midway through the second half as Tusculum University defeated Young Harris College 2-1 in non-conference women's soccer action Tuesday night.

Brooke Radcliffe also scored for the Pioneers (1-1-0), who finished even with the Mountain Lions (0-3-0) in nearly every statistical category except the final score. Both teams had 12 shot attempts and five corner kicks, with Young Harris being called for 12 fouls to 11 by Tusculum.

Juliana Alarcon scored in the 25th minute for the Mountain Lions, who managed just seven shots over the final 65 minutes after taking the early lead. Young Harris did not have a shot on goal in the final 25 minutes of play and just five shot attempts after Tusculum went ahead 2-1.

Young Harris took a 1-0 lead at 24:27 as Hannah Behner delivered a through pass to Alarcon, whose chip shot from 20 yards out beat Tusculum keeper Cecilie Ting Mortensen. The lead would only last nine minutes as the Pioneers tied the game at 33:35. A free kick by Kaitlyn Watson caromed off a defender and was played by Elise Gallo to Radcliffe, who fired home a shot from 15 yards to knot the contest at 1-1.

Tusculum had the early advantage in the second half, putting shots on goal by Kate Guildford in the 48th minute and Tomassoni in the 49th minute that were stopped by Young Harris keeper Pien Van Kampen. After a foul by the Mountain Lions near midfield, the Pioneers' Yvette Raaijen connected with Guildford on a long pass, and the ball ricocheted to Tomassoni at the top of the box. Tomassoni turned a fired a shot that went off the hands of a lunging Van Kampen for a 2-1 Tusculum lead with 25:47 to go.

Less than a minute after Tomassoni's go-ahead goal, Young Harris nearly tied the game as a header off a free kick caromed off the post and the rebound was cleared off the line by the defense. However, that would be the final shot on goal of the evening faced by Mortensen, as Young Harris' best remaining chance was on a free kick by Aimee Durn that sailed high in the 78th minute.

Both Mortensen and Van Kampen finished with four saves in the match, with Tusculum having a 6-5 edge in shots on goal. Tomassoni led Tusculum with three shots on goal in the match, while Alarcon had three on target for Young Harris.

The Pioneers will next head to Florida for a pair of matches this weekend, starting Friday at 6 p.m. at Barry.

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