Boiling Springs, N.C. - Gardner-Webb women's soccer will look to keep its momentum rolling this week when the squad hosts Wofford College for a 2:00 p.m. match on Sunday at Green-Harbison Field.
GWU (1-2-1) is coming off of a dramatic 2-1 win in double overtime against Francis Marion in both teams' final match of the 2013 Bulldog/Sleep Inn Tournament, hosted by South Carolina State.
The Runnin' Bulldogs were able to pull off the win thanks to some late heroics by senior Ele Margelos. Sophomore forward Shelby Hooe let loose a shot attempt in the 108th minute and was credited with the assist when the Patriots' keeper deflected the ball and Margelos (North Potomac, Md.) struck it into the back of the net to score the golden goal in the second overtime.
Hooe (Mechanicsville, Va.) has been instrumental in an improved Runnin' Bulldog offensive attack displayed thus far in 2013. Compared to last year's early season output when GWU went scoreless in its first four matches and scored in only one of its first seven contests to open the 2012 season, Gardner-Webb has totaled four goals in four matches thus far, with Hooe having a hand in each.
Right alongside Hooe (2 goals, 2 assists) in terms of production offensively is redshirt junior Meagan Reynolds, whose return from an injury that prevented her from playing last season has already given the Runnin' Bulldogs a major boost through in 2013. Reynolds (Kings Mountain, N.C.) leads GWU in shots (8) and shots on goal (5) and is tied with Hooe for the team lead in assists (2)., proving to be a productive front-runner and valuable scoring catalyst for head coach Kevin Mounce early in the season.
Gardner-Webb's defense has been solid enough to keep it in each match of the season thus far and, despite a 1.50 goals against average, the Runnin' Bulldogs have shown the ability to buckle down and stay in matches in the second half.
In its losses to Charlotte and South Carolina State this season, Gardner-Webb has allowed a total of three second half goals, including one go-ahead goal after holding the lead after intermission. But GWU solidified its backline efforts in the tie versus North Florida as well as its win against Francis Marion and did not allow second half goals in either contest. The Runnin' Bulldogs will look to continue that type of closing effort from the likes of defenders Addison Abee, Haley Ahrenholtz, Brooke Kelly, keeper Amy Schmitt (17 saves), and others as it heads into its second home match of the season, a Sunday tilt versus Wofford.
The Terriers (1-2-1) have already faced three Big South Conference teams (Winthrop, Coastal Carolina, and UNC Asheville) and, like the Runnin' Bulldogs, are coming off their first win of the season, a 1-0 win against Asheville. Wofford has been stingy on the defensive end early on in 2013, boasting a .75 goals against average that includes two shutouts already. Offensively, Wofford is led by sophomore Chloe Brackett, senior Alex Kachulis, and sophomore Mary Beth Bleekrode.
Live video for Sunday's match versus Wofford will be available for free courtesy of the Big South Network. Fans can also follow all of the action via live stats, available at Gardner-Webb's athletics website, gwusports.com.