By Ethan Marsh
WILMINGTON, NC - Following a couple of losses to James Madison and Towson over the weekend of October 14th, UNCW was looking for redemption against Elon. The Seahawks wanted to end the regular season on a better note and did just that.
UNCW was on a redemption case after losing two rough match-ups against Towson 1-0 on October 14th and against James Madison 4-0 on October 16th. Elon, a fellow CAA opponent, was in it’s own case of making redemption as they had not won in five straight games - two of them ties and three losses. Each team was looking to make a case for the playoffs and to go on a positive note for final game of the regular season. UNCW ended up prevailing in this game.
UNCW was also playing for a playoff spot and for a while it didn’t look promising. This matchup played out as a defensive struggle as the score attempts total was low, specially for Elon. The Seahawks were being competitive and this was encouraged by the Elon crowd. One man from the Elon crowd yelled “Too much going on in there, Grandma” referring to UNCW coming close to hammering it home at Elon’s defending goal earlier in the matchup. Elon’s crowd was expressive all throughout the game including another man making cases for throwing a card concerning some of UNCW’s players being rough to Elon’s players. There was a case of rough play being shown throughout this one as well, but was never called on by the referees.
This matchup went on a pattern. Elon was aggressive in the first half early and kept making strides down to their side of the field often. Their first and only goal of the matchup kept only three minutes and 44 seconds in. There was a score made by Elon in the second half, but it was not counted as there was a foul involved. Elon ended up only having two counted attempted scores in the matchup, one of them being their lone score.
The second half played a different tune. The Seahawks had four goals versus Elon’s two in the first half, but then UNCW had seven goals in the second half to Elon’s zero. UNCW ended up making 13 scoring attempts to Elon’s two attempts. UNCW made a couple of good attempts at 35:45 and 31:45 left in the second half in addition to the other five that were made in the second half. Junior Serenity Waters made the first goal for UNCW with 13:04 left in the second half and a woman in the crowd yelled “Nice Path!” as Waters ran down the field and got in the goal.
The Goalie for the UNCW made some good plays during this matchup versus Elon. She made a couple of great plays defending shots from Elon, one of them coming at 9:45 left in the first. Another major one came with nine minutes left in the second half as she defended the ball and it went past midfield after she defended it. She made a great effort and contribution towards UNCW’s win.
Junior Serenity Waters was the player of the game as she really made an impact on their chances making it to the playoffs. Waters made a close attempt with one minute and half left that would have won the game before the end of regulation. This did not stop her. After the five minute break and overtime started, Waters nailed it off of an assist from Freshman Brittany Matsinger in one minute and 27 seconds into halftime which sprung the entire Seahawks team to go scream, huddle, and celebrate around Waters as the realization came in of the result from what just happened.
This 2-1 overtime win improved UNCW’s overall record to 9-5-3, conference record to 3-3-2, and home record to 4-3-1. It was announced shortly after the winning overtime goal by Waters that the win clinched a playoff spot in the CAA Championship Tournament for the Seahawks. The first playoff game will be at Seahawk Soccer Stadium on the campus of UNCW and will be announced when information is available. A great ending to the regular 2016 season for the UNCW Seahawks Women’s Soccer team.