The Eastern Kentucky University soccer team bounced back in a big way on Tuesday afternoon, rolling past East Tennessee State, 3-1, at EKU Soccer Field.
After a disappointing 2-0 loss to Gardner-Webb in the home opener last Friday, the EKU offense came to life on Tuesday.
Junior Bailly Bounds ignited the attack in the ninth minute when she blasted a goal from 25 yards out to put the Colonels (3-3-1) up 1-0. It was her first goal of the season.
Redshirt sophomore Monica Rios then added what proved to be the game-winner in the 41st minute when she received a pass from senior Jordan Foster and fired a shot past ETSU keeper Kirsty McCaughtry from 10 yards out. It was Rios’ first goal since her freshman season of 2015, and it put the Colonels up 2-0 at the break.
With their backs against the wall, the Buccaneers amped up the aggression on offense early in the second half and got results. In the 53rd minute, ETSU star Elenora Goldoni headed in a cross from Fiona Dodge to cut the Colonel lead in half.
The EKU defense hung tough for the next 25 minutes, fending off a barrage of ETSU shots. Then, in the 87th minute, senior Emmi Carroll finally broke through the Buccaneers’ backline, beat McCaughtry to a ball and poked it past her into the back of the net, giving the Colonels’ some much needed breathing room.
“We’re very happy with the performance today,” head coach Nick Flohre said. “We moved the ball well, and what was even better was our movement off the ball. It’s a good result going into conference this weekend.”
Senior goalkeeper Anna Hall matcher her season-high with six saves in the win.
Junior defender Haley Kemper and freshman defender Katie Shaffer went the distance on the EKU backline.
ETSU outshot EKU, 13-9, on the day; however, it was the Colonels that took advantage of their opportunities. Carroll and Bounds led Eastern with two shots apiece.
EKU opens Ohio Valley Conference play on Friday at home against Austin Peay. First touch is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.