The Valdosta Daily Times
Kim Caitlin Alderman’s goal with less than three minutes remaining in regulation gave the Valdosta State soccer team a 1-0 win over Alabama-Huntsville on Friday night at the VSU Soccer Complex.
The win improved VSU’s record to 3-1-1 in the Gulf South Conference, and 9-1-1 overall.
“It feels good to get a conference win,” Valdosta State head coach Mel Heinz said.
The game was scoreless for the first 86 minutes, and for a while, it looked like the two teams would be heading to overtime.
Then, in the 87th minute, VSU drew a foul and was awarded a free kick just outside the right side of the box. Team captain Emily Cooper took the free kick, and sent a pass across the box to the back post.
Alderman saw the ball coming and leaped for a header. She got her head on the ball and put it into the goal, giving the Blazers a 1-0 lead with less than three minutes left on the clock.
After Alderman’s goal, Valdosta State’s defense, which had played well for most of the game, kept UAH from getting a shot off for the rest of the game.
“Our defense was solid. Olivia (Mills, VSU’s goalkeeper) played well,” Heinz said.
Each team had a handful of opportunities throughout the game. Valdosta State outshot Alabama-Huntsville 15-6. The Blazers put six shots on goal, twice as many as the Chargers.
In the 25th minute, Valdosta State’s Rebecca Miller chased down a ball in the corner and sent a pass to Alderman at the top of the box. But Alderman’s shot went over the goal.
In the 38th minute, a defender misplayed the ball in her own end, and Alabama-Huntsville’s Khadijah Jannah took it away and ran towards the goal. But Arielle Sabina headed the ball away, then Cooper cleared out the ensuing corner kick.
In the final minute of the first half, VSU’s Erin Hill battled with a defender for a ball in the box. But she was unable to get in position to take a good shot, and UAH goalie Iris Gunnarsdottir picked up the ball.
The game remained scoreless as the teams headed to the locker rooms.
In the fourth minute of the second half, Sabina fouled Huntsville’s Shayla McWhorter as she made a move in the box, and UAH was awarded a penalty kick. But Mills read Cady Reisman’s shot perfectly, and stopped it. Reisman ran in and tried to score off of the rebound, but Mills knocked it away.
In the 53rd minute, Miller took a pass and raced into the box with the ball. She unleashed a shot, but Gunnarsdottir dove and stopped the shot. VSU got a corner kick out of the play, and worked the ball back into the box. But Gunnarsdottir jumped and knocked Alderman’s shot away.
In the 57th minute, UAH passed the ball into the box, but two VSU defenders sandwiched Sidney Fiocca, and cleared the ball out of the box.
In the 66th minute, Alderman had a shot from 16 yards away, but it went just wide of the right post.
A minute later, Abbi Edwards chased after a ball near the Huntsville box, and forced the defender to make a bad pass that went right to VSU’s Leanne Bishop. Bishop shot from outside the box, but the ball went right to Gunnarsdottir.
Lauren Hale had a shot stopped by Gunnarsdottir in the 68th minute.
Jannah got a run on goal from the right side in the 69th minute, but shot wide of the goal. UAH’s Summer Mooney shot high and wide in the 74th minute.
In the final seconds, VSU’s Blakely McClellan stole the ball and got a shot on goal, but it went wide of the left post.
Mills made three saves for VSU, while Gunnarsdottir had five for UAH.
The Blazers host Shorter on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the VSU Soccer Complex.