Lady Buffs shut down Cumberland College

Photo by Dave Boyd
MilliganÕs Kristen Zutt (13) bangs a shot off her head.

By Rebecca Pierson
STAR Correspondent
The Milligan Lady Buffs had their fourth shutout of the season yesterday, scoring a 3-0 victory against Cumberland College out of Williamsburg, Ky.
"It was the first time in these last two games that we actually worked hard for a whole game," said the Lady Buffs head Coach David Dixon, whose team stands at 7-6 (4-2 in AAC).
"It had a lot to do with getting our butts kicked three games in a row by teams we can beat, and so I think they have realized that as a group. They played really well as a group like passing the ball, possession, knocking the ball and making them chase. The key was playing together as a unit."
The first score of the night came from junior Kim Morris in the 20th minute.
In the 34th minute, senior Bianca Spoto scored a goal off an assist by freshman Laurie Selman from Jackson, Miss. Spoto is the team's only returning senior from last season.
In the second half, Spoto scored the last goal of the night in the 28th minute.
"Once again, we got Bianca to play really well," said Dixon. "We just kind of challenge her that you have to be the fittest, and the leader, and put the team on your back because we need you to, and she has.
"She has risen to that occasion in almost every game we have played. She is just man-marked wherever she goes, and they have a player following her all over the place. That's hard to play.
"She has had an All-American year. That was her goal, and I said, 'You can be that player. You just got to step up and do the extra stuff.' That is why she has 19 or 20 goals, or however many it is, in 12 games. If you are a personality player, you have to effect the game the whole time. When you are on the field, you are dangerous the whole time, and she's done that. I have been really, really pleased with her."
Dixon feels that Spoto is very deserving of an All-American spot.
"There hasn't been a team we've played that she hasn't been one of the top players on the field," he said.
Dixon also commented on their senior goalkeeper Andrea Breece, who played in high school, but had not played at the college level until this season.
"She expected to be a backup,ä he said. "A week before pre-season I told Andrea, 'You're our starter.' That's tough. I wouldn't want to be cast into that. No pressure but don't lose any games for us. She has made some mistakes, but that's okay because she has made some great saves to keep us in the game."
The Cumberland Patriots only had three shots on the goal for the game while the Buffs had 10.
"Defensively, still, we've got to keep working there," said Dixon.
"The training has been great, better than the beginning of the season," he said. "They are motivated and working hard and that turns over in the game."
When asked about the motivation for the players on their upcoming game against King College, Dixon said: "I don't think we have to get them too excited for that game with there being such a big rivalry.
"The one thing we got to do is make sure to keep our intensity at a high level. They are going to go hard on every ball and we have to match that intensity. I am looking forward to it."
Dixon also stressed the importance of getting a tournament mindset with only two games left in the regular season.
"The tournament is coming up, and we know if we play well, we can win and go on to the national tournament," he said. "The younger players are now finally playing consistent, too, and that makes a big difference.
"These last three games are huge for our seating in the conference and regional tournaments. The big key is taking care of business in these last two conference games and setting ourselves up for a good season in the playoffs."