Lady Hurricanes dominate Southern Wesleyan en route to 3-0 start to season

Published 11:28 pm Wednesday, August 31, 2022

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AMERICUS – The Georgia Southwestern State University Women’s Soccer Team (GSW) fell a goal behind early, but responded with a vengeance as they got the equalizer seconds later and scored four more goals to complete a 5-1 shellacking of Southern Wesleyan University on Wednesday, August 31 at Hurricane Field.
With the win, the Lady Hurricanes are off to a 3-0 start to the 2022 season, which is one of the best starts in GSW Women’s Soccer history.

“I think it was a really good response from our team,” GSW Head Coach Kerry Edwards said. “I think when teams go a goal down, it’s easy for teams to put their head down and our girls just decided to pick their heads up, pick their teammates up and go get a goal. They really did what we asked them to do in the scouting report today. We had some particular things we had to look for and I think the girls went to that and then we executed our set pieces.”

The Lady Warriors took control early and began to put pressure on the GSW back line. Then just two minutes into the match, SWU sophomore defender Bella Hanzel scored off an assist from Fianna Steves to give the Lady Warriors an early 1-0 lead.

GSW freshman midfielder Lucia Bustamante (#3) scored a goal and tallied an assist in the Lady Hurricanes’ 5-1 thumping of Southern Wesleyan.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

However, that early goal ignited the Lady Hurricanes and it didn’t take long for them to respond with an equalizer. Just 23 seconds after Hanzel’s goal, GSW freshman midfielder Lucia Bustamante took a pass from senior forward Geraldine Alvarez and slotted the ball passed the SWU goalkeeper, tying the game at 1-1.

From that point onward, the match belonged to the Lady Hurricanes. They began to be more assertive and aggressive and it led to them earning more of the run of play, which in turn, led to more scoring chances. GSW would eventually cash in on one of those chances in the 25th minute when junior forward Payton Johnson scored an unassisted goal to give the Lady Hurricanes a 2-1 lead. Almost six minutes later, GSW added to its lead when senior midfielder Natalie Martinez scored off an assist from Johnson, making the score 3-1 in favor of the Lady Hurricanes. During the remaining minutes of the first half, both teams had chances, but neither could add to the score sheet and the teams went into halftime with GSW leading 3-1.

GSW freshman midfielder Teresa Rodriguez (#17) scored two goals to help lead the Lady Hurricanes to their 5-1 win over Southern Wesleyan.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Twelve minutes into the second half, the Lady Hurricanes found the net again when freshman midfielder Teresa Rodriguez scored off another assist from Johnson. Then with less than two minutes left in the match, the Lady Hurricanes put the finishing touches on a dominating performance when Teresa Rodriguez bagged her second goal of the match off an assist from freshman midfielder Emily Andrews.

GSW sophomore goalkeeper Grace O’Shaughnessy was solid for the remainder of the match after giving up the early goal. The Manchester, England native came up with five saves on the day.

GSW sophomore forward/defender Kaylee Hodges (#12) advances the ball down the pitch for the Lady Hurricanes.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The Lady Hurricanes (3-0, 0-0 PBC) will try to keep their undefeated streak going when they host the University of Alabama-Huntsville on Saturday, September 3 at 2 p.m. They will then host Rollins College on Wednesday, September 7 at 6 p.m. before opening Peach Belt Conference Play at the University of North Georgia on Saturday, September 10 at 5 p.m.