FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University got scores from Tori Whigham, Kelly Anthony, and Elizabeth Asare, but the Patriots fell to Northern Kentucky University 4-3, Friday evening (Sept. 26) in non-conference women's soccer action.
Francis Marion will travel to Longwood University on Tuesday for a 4 p.m. contest before returning home to host Winthrop University on Oct. 4 at 5 p.m.
FMU took a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute when Anthony poked a ball to Whigham inside the 6-yard box and the sophomore midfielder knocked the ball into the Norse goal. The sequence began with a long throw-in by senior midfielder Chanel Harris and electrified the Florence Soccer Association Night crowd.
NKU equalized only 3:44 later as Aubrey Muench tapped in the rebound of a shot by Macy Hamblin. Hamblin's initial shot from the left side was stopped by Patriot goalkeeper Taylor O'Berry, but the junior was unable to coral the ball before Muench arrived.
The Patriots left the field at intermission holding a 2-1 advantage thanks to a goal by Anthony at the 36:03 mark. Whigham dropped the ball back to Anthony and the Woodstock, Ga., native drilled a 26-yard shot into the upper left corner of the goal.
Northern Kentucky (4-3-2) quickly erased the Patriot lead with a pair of goals in the opening 5:21 of the second stanza. Hamblin and Morgan Shafer accounted for the goals. The Norse increased their margin to 4-2 with what proved to be the match-winner in the 69th minute. Elizabeth Wittwer settled a short FMU clearance and scored into the left side of the netting from 19 yards out. Moments before that tally, FMU junior defender Kristyn Leung had cleared a NKU shot off the goal line denying a sure Norse score.
Wittwer's goal proved important as Asare took a through ball from Whigham, made one move to side-step the Norse keeper, and scored into an open net at the 83:09 mark. It was the senior's 14th career goal in her 62nd career match.
However, NKU maintained possession of the ball for the majority of the final six minutes and Francis Marion was unable to get off a potential tying attempt.
Anthony nearly has a two-goal night, but her turn-and-shoot effort from inside the penalty area was inches wide of the right post in the 65th minute.
Northern Kentucky outshot Francis Marion 17-7 and led 5-2 in corner kicks. O'Berry made six
Northern Kentucky U. (4-3-2) def. Francis Marion Univ. (0-8-0) 4-3
Date: Sep 26, 2014 Attendance: 231
Weather: Overcast, 72 degrees, Winds NE @ 8 mph
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Northern Kentucky U. 1 3 - 4
Francis Marion Univ. 2 1 - 3
1-0. 8:53 FMU_W Tori Whigham (1) (Kelly Anthony) - 5 yard shot off loose ball in box following long throw-in
1-1. 12:37 NKU MUENCH, Aubrey (1) (HAMBLIN, Macy) - Tap-in of save that was not coralled by keeper
2-1. 36:03 FMU_W Kelly Anthony (2) (Tori Whigham) - 26 yard shot from center of field into upper left corner
2-2. 48:00 NKU HAMBLIN, Macy (5) (SPEARS, Chrissy) - pass ahead, 8-yd shot off diving keeper's hands and in
2-3. 50:21 NKU SHAFER, Morgan (2) (SCHERER, Abbey) - service in, 5 yard shot
2-4. 68:17 NKU WITTWER, Elizabeth (2) (unassisted) - short clearance lands, shot from 19 yards into left side of goal
3-4. 83:09 FMU_W Elizabeth Asare (2) (Tori Whigham) - through ball, one move beat keeper, 13 yard shot into open net
Shots: Northern Kentucky U. 17, Francis Marion Univ. 7 ; Saves: Northern Kentucky U. 2 (SCHOCKER, Brooke 2), Francis Marion Univ. 7 (Taylor O'Berry 6; TEAM 1)