BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Abby Gienapp scored in the 28th minute and the Covenant women's soccer team held on from there as the Lady Scots picked up a 1-0 non-conference road victory at Birmingham Southern on Tuesday night at Preston Goldfarb Field.
Covenant has won two straight matches and goes to 2-1 overall. It was the final non-conference match of the year for the Lady Scots as the 14-match USA South schedule begins this weekend. Birmingham Southern drops to 3-4 on the year.
Covenant controlled much of the first half of play and was able to come through in the 28th minute. Lizzy Hightower played a cross into the 18-yard box and Gienapp came through and headed the ball past Birmingham Southern keeper Libby Groark. The goal was the first of Gienapp's career and it was also Hightower's first collegiate assist. Covenant would take that lead into halftime.
In the second half, Covenant continued to maintain possession. The Lady Scots nearly added to their lead in the 65th minute as the ball rolled free inside the 6-yard box, but Anna Robertson's attempt was saved by Groark. The Covenant defense stood tall in the final minutes as Birmingham Southern managed just two shots, both off target, in the final 10 minutes of play.
Rachel Lemay (2-1) picked up her first shutout of the year, and seventh in her career, with three saves. Groark (0-1), making her first start of the year, made nine saves on the night. Covenant held a 22-11 shot advantage, including a 14-7 edge in the second half. Summer Bader led Covenant with five shots, while Hightower attempted four.
Covenant opens USA South play on Friday with a home match against Piedmont. Kickoff at Scotland Yard is set for 6:30 p.m.
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