The women’s soccer team hit the road Thursday to take on Gardner-Webb University. The Bears are sitting at a 4-0-4 record so far this season and are the only team remaining undefeated in the SoCon.
The attack has shined early on this season, netting 22 goals in just eight games. The 2022 SoCon Freshman of the Year, Jada Moorman ‘26, has started every game this season. She has five goals already, nearly tying her production from last season, which was seven goals in 20 games.
Moorman was joined by Larkin Thomason ‘27, another forward who has already acquired a substantial number of goals for the Bears this season. Thomason also has five goals so far, scoring her first collegiate brace against Alabama State University on Aug. 27.
Led by goalkeeper Lindsay Bell ‘25, Mercer is allowing less than a goal a game on average. Last season, they allowed 19 goals in 20 games, while so far this season they have been scored on six times in eight games. The backline primarily utilizes three defenders - Lena Dykes ‘26, Avery Hallam ‘25 and Jamie Hlebec ‘24, all of whom played last year for the Bears.
Mercer has played Gardner-Webb three times before, winning twice and tying once. Their last meeting was in 2019 when the Bears beat the Bulldogs in double overtime, 2-1. The Bulldogs have struggled out of the gate this season, winning just twice in their first eight games. They have played three of Mercer’s SoCon opponents with mixed results. They lost to Eastern Tennessee State University, beat Virginia Military Institute and tied Wofford.
Of those three schools, only ETSU did not have a losing record in the SoCon last season. Their record was split evenly, 3-3-3, while Mercer had a 4-1-4 record, putting the Bears at a 67% winning rate.
Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday in Boiling Springs, North Carolina.
Gabriel Kopp '26 is majoring in Journalism and Law and Public Policy at Mercer University. He has written for The Cluster since he started at Mercer, and currently works as the Sports Editor. When he isn't studying, he enjoys going for runs and reading the New York Times.