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Pioneers celebrate Senior Day with 2-1 win over Coker

Pioneers celebrate Senior Day with 2-1 win over Coker

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Yvette Raaijen scored on a penalty kick with just under 26 minutes remaining to break a tie and give Tusculum University a 2-1 victory over Coker University in South Atlantic Conference women's soccer action Sunday at Pioneer Field.

The Pioneers (7-8-0, 3-5-0 SAC), who celebrated Senior Day prior to the match, snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 4-1 at home this season thanks to a 26-6 advantage in shots over the Cobras (1-12-0, 0-8-0 SAC), who lost their eighth consecutive match.

Kenzie Ellenburg also scored for the Pioneers, while the Cobras' goal came on a penalty kick by Farrah Brown in the 35th minute. Coker keeper Sarah Swaim was kept busy in goal with 13 saves, with two more shots cleared off the line by the Cobra defense.

Tusculum goalkeeper Danielle Breen made just one save in the match, and it came on the first shot attempt of the afternoon in the 5th minute off the foot of Coker's Ava Kieser which forced Breen to a lunging stop toward the post.

The Pioneers' offense got going in the 10th minute, as a shot from Brooke Radcliffe was stopped by Swaim. In the 12th minute, Chayse Stonebraker had a pair of shots that were saved by Swaim, but the second went off her hands and over the end line for a corner kic. On the kick by Kaitlyn Watson, Kate Guildford was in position to collect the loose ball and fire on goal, but Coker defender Kayla Lazo had the ball ricochet off her face and away from further danger.

In the 24th minute, the Pioneers were awarded a free kick from outside 30 yards, and Watson's service to the box was headed home by Ellenburg for her second goal of the year and a 1-0 Pioneer lead at 23:42.

Coker would come back at tie the match at 34:50 as Skyler Jorgensen was fouled near the top of the box by Stonebraker, resulting in a penalty kick. Brown stepped up for the Cobras and went right side low past Breen for her first goal of the season and a 1-1 deadlock with just over 10 minutes left until halftime.

In the second half, the Pioneers continued to swarm around the Cobra goal but could not find the go-ahead tally. Jamila Thombs was stopped from close range by Swaim in the 57th minute and a header by Ellenburg off a Watson corner kick in the 60th minute was again cleared from the line by Lazo for Coker. Swaim followed with saves on Ellenburg off a 35-yard blast in the 62nd minute and a try by Bailey Bylotas in the 63rd minute.

As the game moved into the 65th minute, the Pioneers caught a break as the Cobras were called for a foul for a high kick in the box, and Raaijen made it 3-for-3 on penalty kicks this season as she rifled past a frozen Swaim for a 2-1 Tusculum lead with 25:55 remaining.

Coker's only shot attempt of the second half came in the 73rd minute on a try by Neeley Reagin that was blocked by the Tusculum defense. Radcliffe nearly extended the Tusculum lead to 3-1 in the 75th minute only to see Swaim make a diving stop on her shot from the top of the box. Coker had a final try on a corner kick with 12 seconds remaining, but were unable to create a scoring chance and the Pioneers ran out the clock.

Tusculum finished the match with a 9-7 edge in corner kicks over Coker, while the Cobras were called for nine fouls to six by the Pioneers. Tusculum was flagged five times for offsides to two by Coker, and neither team was issued a yellow card.

The Pioneers will play their final regular-season road match on Friday, Nov. 1 at Mars Hill beginning at 5 p.m. before hosting Carson-Newman in their regular-season finale on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at Pioneer Field.

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