DUE WEST, S.C. – The Converse College (3-6-2, 2-4-1 CC) soccer team came out on the losing end of a hard-fought 2-1 decision at Erskine (4-5, 3-3 CC) on Thursday afternoon. All three goals were scored in the first half and the Flying Fleet shrugged off a furious rally late to down the Valkyries.
Converse put the pressure on the Fleet defense early, firing two shots at goal in the first two-plus minutes of action, but could not get either into the back of the net. Darian Bankston was equal to the task as she came up with two saves in the 11th and 12th minutes to keep the game scoreless.
However, Erskine's Ani Miller-Wells changed that with an 18-yard grounder that rolled into the left corner of the net, giving EC an early 1-0 lead. After several missed opportunities by each side, Erskine padded its lead to 2-0 with a score from Maddi Cole in the 35th minute, but Converse came right back just over one minute later when Riley Hartnett connected on a score that banged off the post and into the rear of the cage, trimming the deficit in half just before the half.
Converse looked poised to knot the match at 2-2 in the 58th minute. After earning two consecutive corner kicks, Marshall Cassidy and Melissa Carlyle each put shots on goal, but were both denied the equalizer.
From that point the two teams traded blows yet neither could get anything past the opposing keeper and Erskine held on for the crucial 2-1 conference win.
Erskine held a slim 13-11 advantage on shots, while shots on goal were even at nine each. The Valkyries earned five corners to EC's three. Darian Bankston played all 90 minutes in goal, allowing two goals while collecting seven saves.
Carlyle led Converse with three shots, while Cassidy and Doolittle chipped in two shots each and Hartnett contributed the lone goal. Cauble led the Fleet with four shots and Cole and Miller-Wells tallied goals in the win.
The Vals will be back in action on Saturday, October 7 as they travel to Central, S.C. to take on the Warriors of Southern Wesleyan University in a Conference Carolinas showdown. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m.