FARMVILLE, Va. - An 88th-minute goal by Kathryn Miller broke a scoreless tie and sent the Longwood Lancers past the VMI Keydets, 1-0, in non-conference women's soccer action Saturday in Farmville, Va.
An excellent effort by VMI (2-4) goalkeeper Ceci Keppeler, who finished the match with a career-high 14 saves, had helped the Keydets stay in the match in a first half that Longwood dominated. The second half was much more even, but Longwood (4-1) finally broke through in the closing moments. Emilie Kupsov was able to find Miller with a pass at the top of the box, and Miller beat Keppeler to the left side of the goal for the eventual game-winner.
Longwood had to preserve that margin, however, as just one minute after Miller's goal, Onika Hammond forced a save by Longwood keeper Maria Kirby. Julianne Knoblett then missed wide, and a resultant corner kick came up empty as the Lancers held on in dramatic fashion, 1-0.
The home team controlled the first half on a cool, rainy day in Farmville, as Longwood held a 14-1 edge in shots in the first half. The Lancers could not capitalize, however, and the Keydets were able to turn things around in the second half, mustering seven shots, including the late threat. Kirby made a pair of second-half saves, however, and three overall to help her team pull out the narrow victory.
"We did not play very well in the first half today," said VMI head coach Chris Bergmann. "Our team was excellent in the second half, however, and certainly played well enough to win. We forced Longwood to clear two balls off the line in the last two minutes, and I'm very proud of our effort going into Manhattan next week."
VMI women's soccer will return to action Friday, Sept. 8, when the Keydets take on the Manhattan Jaspers in Riverdale, N.Y.