ASU soccer team wins season opener

JONESBORO, Ark. (8/22/09) - In front of a record-setting 712 fans, the Arkansas State (1-0) soccer team erased a halftime tie by scoring three second-half goals and downed Central Arkansas (0-1), 4-1, in its season-opener Saturday at the ASU Soccer Park.

The record-setting crowd smashed the previous mark of 468 set versus UCA in last season's home opener for the Red Wolves and it also marked the second year in-a-row that ASU has won its opening match.

"We loved the crowd and we feed off it. In soccer, its hard to get a big crowd out here. 700-plus is amazing and we are really grateful for them coming out and we hope that they continue to support us," said ASU junior Anna Kaloughirou.

The Bears struck first in the contest in the 24th minute (23:28) when Cori Kaplinger took a shot which deflected off ASU goalkeeper Megan Stoltzfus and found the bottom corner of the goal, putting UCA on top 1-0.

Two of ASU's four goals came courtesy of Kaloghirou, who scored the tying goal for the Red Wolves in the 31st minute (30:24) and added an insurance goal in the 74th minute (73:22).

Kaloughirou took a feed from ASU freshman Ashley McMurtry which she put past UCA goalkeeper Kirby Huffstickler to net the equalizer of the match, 1-1.

The Red Wolves came out in the second half and scored three goals in less than nine-minutes to seal their first victory of the season.

"Today was an opportunity to come out and put on a good performance and the girls did that," said ASU head coach Derek Pittman. "I think as far as the game is concerned we showed that we are the better team and really got to showcase the things we have been working on in the preseason. I am very happy with the effort that they put in and it's something we can build on."

ASU sophomore Kara Nitti took a pass from sophomore Megan Mace, sending the shot into the top left corner of the goal to put ASU on top in the 72nd minute (71:20), 2-1

Kaloughirou scored her second goal of the game when sophomore Lizzy Niles passed the ball up from the back of the field. Kaloughirou then beat a UCA defender and crossed the ball in front of the Bears goalkeeper into the upper corner of the net from 18-yards out.

Freshman Tory Pitts tacked on another insurance goal at the 79:49 mark when she made a great move on the UCA defense and curved the ball into the upper corner at the far post from the 18-yard marker.

The Red Wolves outshot UCA 22-5, taking 10 shots on goal. ASU sophomore Michele Clark and freshman Lucy Brient along with Kaloughirou and Pitts led all players with four shots each. Twenty-one ASU players saw action for.

Freshman Susan Brown got the win for the Red Wolves, playing the second half in goal for ASU. Kelsey Gochnauer took the loss for UCA.

Arkansas State returns to action at home on Sunday Aug. 30 at 1 p.m. when they host Louisiana Tech.

ASU Sports Information