BECKLEY, W. Va. — With the loss of just three starters from last season, and an excellent crop of returnees along with a strong set of newcomers on its roster for the 2021 season, fourth-year head coach Natasha Ademakinwa and her Shawnee State University women’s soccer team is eyeing the double-digit win mark.
Those Bears got off to an excellent start in that department in their season opener against West Virginia Tech on Saturday evening, with incoming freshman talent Haynna Addy scoring a first-half goal in her Shawnee State debut and last season’s leading scorer for the Bears, Paige Alford, collecting a second-half unassisted strike.
Those goals lifted the Bears to a 2-1 victory over West Virginia Tech at the Paul Cline Memorial Sports Complex in Beckley.
Addy adds to freshman promise
with successful debut
Having showcased a natural quickness and an ability for the game of soccer, Addy has been impressive at all stops for Shawnee State.
In Saturday’s season opener, Addy broke the ice offensively when the striker — after just over 30 minutes of game time — put Shawnee State ahead for good.
The Chillicothe native’s rebound off a Brenna Woodard post glance allowed the Bears to strike in a needed way — with just under 15 minutes to play in the first half.
Addy, who scored on her lone shot of the game, was part of a disciplined Shawnee State attack that committed just two fouls all game long and posted a 16-11 shots advantage — all while doubling West Virginia Tech’s mark in shots on goal (10-5).
The first-half goal by Addy was the third goal of her career.
Alford picks up
where she left off
Having had an excellent 2020-21 season where she led Shawnee State in scoring, Alford continued to add to what is becoming a strong career — collecting her ninth career goal in the second half.
She scored in the 61st minute to help SSU obtain some much-needed breathing room in the tight affair.
Alford, who now has 21 points for her career (nine goals, three assists), scored in unassisted fashion — all while continuing to play with strong ball control from the midfield area.
Heck makes strong
debut in goal
Winning the starting goalkeeper job over returning incumbent Shelbi Ritchie is no easy task for any newcomer, but Purdue-Northwest transfer Leonie Heck did just that.
In Saturday’s affair against the Golden Bears, Heck certainly showcased her own strong talent, stopping four of five West Virginia Tech shots and not allowing a goal until an 83rd-minute conversion by strong West Virginia Tech talent Brittany Dye.
The defense — led by Daan Louwerse, Eilidh Mchattie, Ramiah Wallace and many others — proved to be more than up to the task.
While Dye’s goal did cut the SSU lead to a 2-1 margin, Dye’s shot was one of only two that the Bears allowed over the final 25 minutes of play — a critical part of Shawnee State’s road win.
With the win, Shawnee State (1-0) will play one final scrimmage against Rochester (Mich.) on Thursday (Aug. 26) at 6 p.m., before playing host to Bluefield (Va.) the following Tuesday (Aug. 31) in the home opener at Shawnee Turf.
Match time is set for 6 p.m.
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