LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Coming into the first year of full Division III membership and the USA South Athletic Conference, the Covenant women's soccer team was expected to compete in the top half of the conference.
The Lady Scots accomplished that, but in a much different way than some might have expected.
Covenant finished 10-9-2 overall and 7-3-2 in the USA South, good for sixth in the final conference standings, and made a run into the USA South semifinals before being ousted by eventual champion Piedmont.
A season after graduating 10 seniors, head coach Mark Duble put forth a lineup that consisted of multiple freshmen for most of the year. The young players rose to the occasion, especially in the backfield, as the Lady Scots finished the regular season winning four of six contests.
The defense was the key reason why the Lady Scots had a strong finish. From the final minutes of a match against Maryville on Oct. 2 until the first few minutes of a contest at Averett on Oct. 25, Covenant did not allow a score for 432 consecutive minutes of game play, spanning six matches. During that stretch, Covenant won three matches by 1-0 scores.
1-0 scores were a normal occurrence in 2013 as the Lady Scots won five matches by that score. Additionally, Covenant won six matches decided by one goal and three contests in overtime.
After a loss to Averett on Oct. 25, the Lady Scots routed William Peace on the road 5-0 behind a hat trick from Bethany Logan and the first two collegiate scores from Ally Jennings. Covenant wrapped up the regular season with a 1-1 draw on Senior Night against Piedmont.
Entering the USA South tournament with the sixth seed, the Lady Scots had to travel back to Danville, Va., to face Averett once again. An early goal by Logan gave Covenant a 1-0 lead and that was all the Lady Scots needed to upset the defending conference champions.
"That was tooth and nail defending by 11 players," said Duble of the win at Averett. "Second half we were under relentless pressure. They are certainly a very dangerous team. We were forunate to win, but very happy to do so."
After just a couple days off, the team headed back to Virginia, this time Martinsville, for the USA South semifinal round. The Lady Scots ran into a tough Piedmont squad once again and the Lions eliminated Covenant 3-1. Piedmont would go on and capture the USA South title a day later.
Having to battle injuries to key players throughout the year, Duble and his team persevered with a strong team effort. Keeper Hannah Bales had strong junior season as she allowed just 10 goals in over 866 minutes at the net (1.04 goals against average). Fellow keeper Lucy Johnson also performed well as she started 10 matches and had a 1.17 goals against average in 1074 minutes.
Logan had a breakout year with 11 goals to lead the team and finish seventh in the conference. Rachel Bernard, Anne Charlotte Strawbridge, and Ruth Terry all had three goals apiece while Terry led the squad with four assists.
Defensively, freshmen Andrea Hunt, Kaitlyn Winking, Rachel Setzer, and Natalie Smith all performed well in their first years. Together, the group started the final six matches of the year and allowed just six goals total in those contests.
USA South All-Conference
Ruth Terry - 3rd team
Bethany Logan - 3rd team
Andrea Hunt - 3rd team
Mary Buys - All-Sportsmanship
NSCAA Team Academic Award
2012-13 Academic Year - 3.33 GPA
**This is the first in a week-long series recapping the fall sports season at Covenant. Below are links and a schedule to the rest of the season recaps.
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