SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Converse College (3-5-2) soccer team dropped a 5-1 non-conference contest to UNC Pembroke (6-3) on Monday evening at Fulp Field. The Valkyries allowed three first half goals and could not recover en route to the defeat.
UNC Pembroke put the pressure on early after earning a corner kick in the second minute of action. Fortunately, the ensuing header went wide of the goal. The Braves were back at it just two minutes later, this time with a different result. A botched ball in the box by a Valkyrie defender allowed Kate Weisner to pick up the rock and give UNCP a 1-0 lead with a shot in the bottom-right corner of the cage.
Nicole Doolittle had a great opportunity in the 11th minute as she weaved through the Braves defense but could not connect on the equalizer. That missed chance proved costly as UNCP added to its lead in the 24th minute when a save by Rachel Stalford was deflected to the Braves' Katie Watkins, who snuck it just inside the cage.
The lead ballooned to 3-0 in the 33rd minute after a pinball of deflected passes wound up at the foot of Kimsey Collins and she had a wide open net to place the rock. That score would hold heading into the half.
After a tough first half offensively, Converse was finally able to breakthrough in the 50th minute. Following an earned corner kick, Melissa Carlyle placed a beautiful ball into the box and Nicole Doolittle perfected a header into the back of the net, trimming the deficit to 3-1.
UNC Pembroke pushed back out to a three-goal lead after Weisner posted her second goal of the contest in the 61st minute. Collins added her second goal of the contest in the 84th minute to make the final margin of victory 5-1.
The Braves outshot the Valkyries by a final of 16-7 and took four more corners than Converse (7-3). Stacey Scott led UNCP with five shots, while Doolittle had two for CC, both on goal.
Stalford took the loss after allowing three goals in 33 minutes of action, while Gina Ryan earned the win for UNCP, playing one half and not allowing a goal.
The Valkyries will be back in action on Thursday, October 5 as they return to Conference Carolinas action with a trip to Due West, S.C. to take on Erskine. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.