The Valdosta Daily Times
For the second time in three days, Kim Caitlin Alderman delivered a game-winning goal for the Valdosta State women’s soccer team.
Alderman scored the game’s only goal on Sunday, giving the Blazers a 1-0 win over Shorter at the VSU Soccer Complex.
Alderman also scored the game-winner on Friday, when VSU beat Alabama-Huntsville 1-0 in a Gulf South Conference game.
Valdosta State now has a 10-1-1 record this season.
“It’s good (to be 10-1-1),” VSU head coach Mel Heinz said. “I’m happy we’re winning. ... I’m proud of their work, and I’m proud that they’re doing what it takes to win.”
“It feels pretty great to be 10-1-1. We’ve still got more on our list to do, and that’s what we’re going to keep striving for,” she added.
In the 22nd minute of the game, VSU’s Caroline Moore pushed the ball ahead from the back third and found Alderman on the left side. Alderman raced in, shot and was able to get the ball past Shorter goalkeeper Katie Stachula for what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
Valdosta State controlled the possession and kept the ball in Shorter’s end for the majority of the match.
Shorter had very little success penetrating the Blazers’ back line. Emily Cooper, Arielle Sabina, Moore and the rest of the VSU defense limited Shorter to just two shots, neither of which was a shot on goal.
“I think, in the last couple of games, they’ve really gotten it cleaned up and organized,” Heinz said. “Today we didn’t get challenged as much. ... We definitely were tight back there, so I’m very pleased with that.”
Valdosta State goalie Olivia Mills earned her seventh shutout of the season.
VSU had a number of scoring opportunities — the Blazers took 19 shots — but could only get one goal.
“Even though we got the win, and I’m happy for that, it’s not enough. We’re midway through the season, and we need to capitalize and we need to score goals,” Heinz said. “I think we had 20 shots, but not many were on goal. That, to me, is unacceptable for the team that we’re trying to be.”
“We were on our attacking half almost the whole game, (except for) a few moments that we weren’t. If you’re going to play on one half of the field, you’ve got to get more results than that,” Heinz added. “I think our kids feel the same way.”
In the first half, VSU’s Lauren Hale had a shot stopped by Stachula, and Abbi Edwards took a shot from the right side of the box that went over the goal.
In the 40th minute, Erin Hill took a pass at the top of the box, spun and shot, but the shot sailed just wide of the left post. Less than a minute later, Hill got another pass in the box. While she was battling a defender to keep possession of the ball, Hill shot again. This time, the ball barely missed the right side of the goal.
In the first minute of the second half, VSU’s Shealy Kulp got a shot from 12 yards out, but shot wide. Teammate Allison Derck missed a similar shot from 14 yards away in the 58th minute. In the 67th minute, Blakely McClellan’s shot was wide from 16 yards away.
In the 82nd minute, Rebecca Miller, VSU’s leading goal scorer, got the ball 40 yards from the goal. She took off running with the ball, sprinted into the box and found herself one-on-one with Stachula. But her shot went wide of the left post, and the score remained 1-0.
Shorter’s best chance came in the 85th minute, when Brandi Greenwald got a shot from the right side of the box, 18 yards away. But she shot the ball over the goal.
A minute later, McClellan chased after a ball in the box and took a sliding shot with Stachula also sliding right in front of her. But Stachula stretched her arms out as she was sliding and knocked the ball away. It was Stachula’s third and final save of the match.
Alderman’s header with three seconds left in the match was off the mark. But by then, the Blazers had all but sealed the victory.
Valdosta State will play its next four matches (against West Alabama, West Florida, Union and Shorter) on the road. The Blazers’ next home game is on Oct. 26 against West Alabama.