Keydets Topple SC State in Home Opener

LEXINGTON, Va. – After a South Carolina State goal to tie the game early on, the VMI women’s soccer team went on a 4-0 run the rest of the way to defeat the visiting Bulldogs by a 5-1 score Monday afternoon at Patchin Field.

Junior Sierra Brewer scored her second goal of the season in the ninth minute of the match for an early VMI lead before SC State’s Justine Zepeda tied the score just three minutes later off a Brandy Vaca assist. Julianne Knoblett scored what proved to be the game winner in the 16th minute (15:07) of the match off an assist from Whitney Edwards-Roberson.

"I really liked our overall team effort,” said VMI head coach Chris Bergmann. “We set goals before the game and they accomplished them. It's about playing for 90 minutes. It's about understanding tactics and executing. It was nice to see the depth as well. South Carolina State is a really strong, physical team and they have some special players as well. I thought we contained and were able to play our style and dominate and dictate from that to open it up with a lot of different scoring opportunities.

"We have the endurance and we've worked hard enough to put our opponent under pressure - I felt like we read it well and it created a lot of opportunities to transition into offense and things opened up.”

Edwards-Roberson scored her first career VMI goal in the 56th minute (55:04) for the Keydets’ first goal of the second half. Teammates Kiley Cropper and Rowan Geukgeuzian poured it on with security goals later in the half en route to the 5-1 VMI win.

The Keydets (2-0) outshot the Bulldogs (0-2) by a 28-5 margin and had seven corner kicks to SC State’s five. Cropper led the VMI attack with six shot attempts while Knoblett finished with four.

Senior goalie Ceci Keppeler was credited with the win after playing a complete game and registering one save.

VMI continues play at home Thursday with a matchup against Delaware State. Kickoff is set for a 4 p.m. start at Patchin Field in Lexington.