LEXINGTON, Va. - Looking to finish the regular season with a victory, the VMI women's soccer team fell by a 1-0 score on Senior Day to visiting Western Carolina Sunday afternoon at Patchin Field.
Prior to the match, senior cadet-athletes Sierra Brewer, Sam Franklin and Julianne Knoblett were recognized for their achievements the past four years at VMI.
The Keydets (1-15-2, 0-8-1) and Catamounts (11-6-0, 5-3-0) battled the entire match with neither team able to score in the opening half as VMI endured a barrage of WCU shot attempts (12) in the first 45 minutes while taking four of their own.
Early in the second half, the Catamounts took possession of the ball and penetrated the Keydet defense in the 59th minute. Rea Syska crossed it to her left where Julia Winter was approaching and Winter used her right foot to plant the ball into the upper left corner of the VMI net from 15 feet out for what proved to be the game-winning goal.
The Keydets battled back and matched the Catamounts' shot attempts (6) in the second half but could not get it past WCU goalie Natalia Icen, who earned the win with four saves in the final 45 minutes. VMI keeper Sidney Swoope played a complete game in the box and recorded six saves in the loss.
Brewer, Knoblett, Maria Vargas and Sarah Anschutz all registered two shots apiece while freshman Maggie Beckman and junior Erin Kozlowski logged one attempt each.
Winter finished with five shots to lead the Catamounts while three others had a pair of attempts. Western Carolina finished the game with 18 shots to VMI's 10.
With the loss, VMI has been given the No. 10 seed and will travel to No. 7 seed Wofford for the first-round game of the Southern Conference tournament this Wednesday, Oct. 30. The winner will continue to the championship rounds next weekend on either Nov. 2 or 3 to face the No. 2 seed.