Lady Buffs conquer Montreat

Photo by Kristen Luther
Bianca Spoto controls the ball for the Lady Buffs.

By Wes Holtsclaw
Entering Wednesday's outing against Montreat, the Milligan College women's soccer team was waiting for its offense to take care of itself.
With another scoreless game after the first half, the Lady Buffaloes were worried about another collapse. However, Milligan rallied behind two goals from Bianca Spoto and a goal from Dehara September to take a 5-1 victory over the Lady Cavaliers.
"We've been waiting for that for a long time," said Milligan coach Dave Dixon of the team's offense. "We just worked a lot harder. Teams that work hard create things for themselves. The first two games and the first half were still in that mode, waiting for something to happen. We created things to happen in the second half."
"Our workrate was phenomenal," he said. "It was the first time we worked in a game. We played with a lot of feet and made it real nice to watch. We were dangerous and finally put it semi-together. We're still not there yet."
"Basically our biggest problem is our work ethic and not working our butts off," said Spoto, a senior from Clearwater, Fla. "In the first half we really didn't work much. I mean we worked, but our problem the last two games we lost is that at the half we were tied 0-0, and for some reason we just quit."
"Finally, our coach engraved in our head that we we're not going to quit working, and our intensity stayed high."
Kate Ketchum and Deniece Kitchin each had a shot on goal for Milligan in the first half. Spoto got the closest out of the two squads as a hard kick deflected off the top crossbar of the goal.
It was mostly defense for Montreat as Milligan took control of the game from the beginning. However, time ran out on the first half before any offense could get started.
The Lady Cavaliers were obviously fatigued in the second half and the Lady Buffaloes used it to their advantage early when Jackie Concalves missed a shot off the crossbar.
Milligan finally battled back around when Cora Deakins spotted Spoto, who sliced a shot into the left corner of the goal putting the Lady Buffs on top with a 1-0 lead.
Montreat wouldn't give up as Michelle Convey broke loose and found Candace Sharpe in the corner. Sharpe dodged a Milligan defensive counter, with a swift goal to tie it up.
As things looked good for the Lady Cavs, they simply began to fire back on them when Deakins made a kick deflect off a Montreat player into the goal.
Six minutes later, Kristen Zutt hit Montreat goalie Lauren Mayer, but the ball bounced from her hands into the foot of September, with the goal putting Milligan up 3-1.
The Lady Cavs were plagued again after losing offensive momentum, only to have another kick bounce off a player in Milligan's favor with a goal.
The Lady Buffaloes wanted to put the icing on the cake and did it late in the second half when Katie Caughell assisted Spoto with her second goal of the game, sealing a 5-1 win.
It was a blessing in disguise for the Milligan when Montreat became fatigued.
"Right from the beginning of the second half, we were right there all over them, never giving them time to play," Dixon added. "Their goal was a little bit of miscommunication and we wouldn't like to have that. But this team is starting to finally see that if they work and we do it the whole game, it'll be fine."
"Montreat only had 11 players and were struggling with subs," Spoto said. "Honestly, in the past we've never had a problem with them and I was pretty nervous going into the second half. I think they got fatigued and we just stepped it up."
Mayer collected five saves to lead the Lady Cavaliers. Andrea Breece had two saves for Milligan, while Zutt collected two assists in the game.
The Lady Buffs play Georgetown College on Friday, then Lindsey Wilson on Saturday, in Columbia, Kent.
Milligan 6
Montreat 3
Milligan's men's soccer team played their third game of the season Wednesday night by defeating Montreat College 6-3.
Junior Ali Mohamed set the Buffaloes ahead five minutes into the first half off a penalty kick. The first half saw Milligan have 11 shots on goal the first 45 minutes.
New recruit Gabe Hillman had a marvelous game with a hat trick. His first goals came off a Greg Hochstetter cross and into the back of the net. Five minutes later Hillman capitalized off a through ball from Mohamed.
Mohamed scored his second goal of the night off a breakaway with 13 minutes left in the first half. Hillman started the second half off with his third goal.
Montreat started a run 15 minutes into the second half with a given penalty kick by Sherman Gardner. Twenty minutes later Matt Poteet scored a header off a corner kick. Montreat scored again five minutes later.
Milligan senior Brian Okumu stopped the run with a shot and goal with twelve minutes remaining in the game.
Freshman goalkeeper Jordan Fode had five saves for the Buffs, who host St. Vincent 7 p.m. on Friday night.