Quest for the crown

Published 11:33 am Thursday, November 2, 2017

MURFREESBORO – Survive and advance.

The Chowan University women’s soccer team used Halloween Eve on Monday to pull a few things out of their bag of tricks.

A late penalty kick goal assured a win – the Hawks’ 12th – and propelled the Blue-and-White on to the semi-finals of the Conference Carolinas Soccer Tournament with a 2-0 shutout over Southern Wesleyan here at the Chowan Soccer Field.

Sierra Gonzalez and Sabrina Henderson scored for the Hawks while Shannon Park tallied an assist in the win. Olivia Borer got the shutout in goal – her 12th – same as the number of wins the ladies have posted this season, their first in the league.

Chowan outshot the Warriors 20-13 with a 10-6 advantage on shots on target.

Chowan got on the board in the 11th minute as defender Shannon Park played up the right side of the pitch.  Park slid the ball over to Sierra Gonzalez at the top of the right wing and found the top shelf for the 1-0 lead.

Chowan University’s Sabrina Henderson (#7) passes to a teammate in Monday’s Conference Carolinas women’s soccer quarter-final against Southern Wesleyan. Henderson would score a goal later as the Hawks advance to today’s semi-final with a 2-0 shutout victory. | Photo by Qui’Wania Miller

SWU almost found the equalizer in the 27th minute as Warrior striker Ashley Romanowski hit the left post and had the shot corralled by Borer before the Warriors were able to knock the attempt in.

CU looked to post a second tally in the waning stages of the half grabbing a free kick just outside the box with 7.8 seconds remaining.  Monae Moore and Ashlyn Smith had their attempts blocked as the horn sounded.

SWU came out on the attack after the half with three shots and a corner kick.  Off the corner kick, the Hawks’ defense stood strong blocking the first attempt and saving the final attempt.

As physical play continued, Sabrina Henderson was pulled from behind near the right end line and was granted a penalty kick in the 63rd minute.  Henderson converted from the spot to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead.

Gonzalez looked to go top shelf again in the 71st minute but her shot was saved by the SWU keeper.

The Warriors tallied two shots in the final three minutes of play but were denied each time by Borer in goal.

Next up for the Hawks will be Lees-McRae, who upset third seed Belmont Abbey 4-2 Monday in a shootout.  Earlier this season, the Hawks notched a scoreless 0-0 draw against the Bobcats here in Murfreesboro Sept. 23, playing through two overtime periods.

Chowan will face the sixth-seeded Bobcats today (Thursday) Nov. 2 in the Conference Carolinas semi-finals.  That game and the rest of the tournament through Saturday’s championship will be played in Gaffney, SC, at the home pitch of top-seed Limestone.