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Thursday, Dec 2, 2021

Women’s soccer struggles to make headway in conference play

<p>Mercer women&#x27;s soccer forward Aliha Kitchens dribbling the ball through the midfield.</p>

Mercer women's soccer forward Aliha Kitchens dribbling the ball through the midfield.

The Bears were 5-4-2 coming into their weekend games and moved to 5-4-5 after their games against the University of North Carolina Greensboro, the Virginia Military Institue and The Citadel.

Mercer took to the road for their first game on Oct. 8 against UNCG. Despite both teams combining for 28 shots, the whistle sounded with a final score of 1-1.

UNCG broke open the scoring with midfielder Caroline Woods in the 62nd minute of the game. The Bears answered back quickly thanks to forward Lana Whitfield at the 67th minute of the game.

The game was bogged down by sloppy play with Mercer committing 11 fouls and UNCG committing 16 fouls.

After the tie, Mercer packed the bus and drove onward to Lexington, VA to take on VMI. While this game included more scoring than the UNCG game, it was another tie with a final score of 2-2.

Mercer midfielder Ally Fordham scored the opening goals in the 34th and 48th minute respectively. VMI answered back with two goals of their own in the 50th and 61st minute. Both teams combined for 37 shots with Mercer taking 25 of them.

Hoping to break the tying trend, the Bears returned home for the first of their three-game homestand against The Citadel on Friday.

Unfortunately, the Bears stalemated once again against the Bulldogs, ending the game 1-1 in another tie. Mercer took 34 shots compared to The Citadel's 10, but could not find the back of the net more than once.

Mercer's first score came in the 11th minute off the leg of midfielder Jordan Lynn during a penalty kick. Mercer parked the bus for as long as they could, playing strong defense, but Bulldogs forward Suzuka Yosue found the net in the 80th minute to force the draw.

After three ties in a row, Mercer will look to their Oct. 22 game against Furman University to get back into the win column.


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