Photo by Bob Cragin
By Justin Jarrett | LowcoSports@gmail.com
With a soggy Fin Land Field and the potential for more rain in the forecast, USCB women’s soccer coach Ed Heberling began the day scrambling to get his field in playable shape.
He ended it with a dominant 7-2 victory over Life University in which six Sand Sharks scored goals in the team’s highest-scoring output since 2012.
“The long stressful day ended on a great note for me,” Heberling said. “After worrying about field conditions, I was glad we got the game in. Although we started out flat and gave up two quick goals, we bounced back very well.”
The Fighting Eagles jumped out to an early lead, as Josie Davis scored on a breakaway in the third minute and played a beautiful cross into the box to set up Katelynn Harbeke in the 16th.
The Sand Sharks answered quickly, though, as Hayley Pina added to her career goals lead just 40 seconds later and Elin Sturesson was on the back end of a build up through Karen Pimentel and Pina that tied it in the 18th minute.
Sturesson struck again in the 39th minute, when a poor clearance fell to her feet and she struck a shot to the upper-left corner for a 3-2 lead.
The Sand Sharks added to the lead when Pina was taken down in the box in the 59th minute to earn a pentalty, which Pimentel converted. USCB kept the heat on, as freshman Allison Schaffer assisted MJ Orduna on a beautiful goal in the 63rd minute, Sarah Withers slotted a ball through to Rileigh Olsen for a one-on-one goal, and Orduna assisted Daniella Borjas on the final goal of the contest.
“Our fitness paid off as we were able to maintain pressure and create scoring opportunities,” Heberling said. “It was great to see so many players on the board and gives us a great foundation to build on. We still have work to do, but after training for three weeks I am happy to leave with a result.”
FIN FACTS: The seven goals are the second-most in program history and the most since a 14-1 win over Florida Christian in 2012. … Pina now has 24 goals, 14 assists, and 62 points in her career, all USCB records. … With three points, Orduna moved into fourth on USCB’s all-time list with 26, surpassing Steph Moldenhauer. … Five of USCB’s seven seniors recorded at least one point. … The Sand Sharks host Asbury (Ky.) at 1 p.m. Saturday.