The women’s soccer program received a career-high 16 saves from Hannah Bolender, but a 37-shot barrage from the attack of No. 18-ranked Cumberlands (Ky.) proved to be too much as the Bears fell to the Patriots by a 6-0 margin on Thursday evening in the Mid-South Conference Tournament’s Opening Round.
Shawnee State (6-12), who posted each of its nine shots in the second half, were led by three shots — and two on frame — from Olivia Ball in her final game as a Bear. Ball holds the distinction of not only playing in, but starting, each of the 68 contests that SSU played in over her four seasons as a Bear. Lucy Snyder, who posted SSU’s first shot and shot on frame in the contest, along with Abby Yazdani, added in the remaining shots on goal for Shawnee State in the contest.
Behind the trio, Eilidh Mchattie, Sierra Drake, Destiny Chester, and Alli Blank posted the remaining shots for SSU in the contest, while the Bears, defensively, received strong, durable play from Ellie Aston and Cassidy Asbury, who played the full 90 minutes for Shawnee State in the defeat.
Cumberlands, who moved to 13-2-1 overall on the year with the win, obtained its six goals from five different players, with Shara Randez scoring in the 15th and 55th minutes to head up the Patriots’ offensive attack. Naira Lopez, Alba Lorca, Amy Anderson, and Jillian Zurborg added in the remaining blasts.
Despite the setback for Shawnee State, the Bears’ roster has great promise as evidenced in its youth. In all, 18 of the unit’s 25 players are of sophomore eligibility or younger, and six of the team’s top eight scoring options also return. SSU also will get Alex Raudier back from injury, which will be vital heading into the 2020 season.
Still, SSU loses vital pieces. In addition to Ball — who posted six goals and nine assists over the course of her career — the Bears also will lose Jill Kelly, who joined Ball in posting a perfect 4.0 grade-point-average, was the team’s Champions of Character representative for the Mid-South Conference realm, and played and started in each of Shawnee State’s 52 games during her last three seasons of competition. Chester, who was a vital piece to Shawnee State’s offense as evidenced by her 16 goals and four assists over the course of her career, and Mckinney, who filled key roles in the midfield and defensive areas during her tenure at Shawnee State, also depart. Ball, Kelly, and Chester were named All-Academic MSC honorees earlier in the week.
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