7th-ranked Eagles knock off only undefeated team left in South Atlantic Conference in victory over No. 25 Wingate

7th-ranked Eagles knock off only undefeated team left in South Atlantic Conference in victory over No. 25 Wingate

Video: Simon Duffy Interview

Video: Lara Halgrimsdottir Interview

Video: Highlights v. Wingate

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The 7th-ranked Carson-Newman Eagles topped the No. 25 ranked Wingate Bulldogs by a final of 1-0 at McCown Field on Saturday afternoon.

Coming into the day, Wingate was the only undefeated team left in South Atlantic Conference play this season. 

The Bulldogs (7-2, 6-1 SAC) were held to a season-low three shots on the day, having at least 12 shots or more in every game to date this year. They were last held to five shots or less on Oct. 22 of 2016 in a 1-0 loss to Lenoir-Rhyne. 

The Eagles (11-0-1, 7-0-1 SAC) pelted the top goalkeeper in the league in Alexis Jones all afternoon registering 18 shots, seven of which were on frame. The total of both categories are season-highs allowed by the Bulldogs.  

Not a whole lot happened in the first 45 minutes, although the Eagles controlled pace of play holding the Bulldogs to just one shot.

"We dominated that whole first half there even though there wasn't much going on," Head Coach Simon Duffy mentioned. "We just needed to get a bit sharper, get at them, and I'll take a 1-0 win."

It wouldn't take long after the second half for the Eagles to take advantage. After a penalty was called on the left side of the 8-yard box on Wingate goalkeeper Alexis Jones, Holly Talbut-Smith and Lara Hallgrimsdottir lined up at the ball, as 10 Wingate players plus Jones stood on the goal line, trying to prevent any attempt on net.

Talbut-Smith lightly touched the ball putting it on the right foot of Hallgrimsdottir who planted and stepped into it, drilling the ball to the right of the charging Bulldog defenders and into the back of the net for her fourth goal of the 2017 season. Two of her five career goals have registered as game winners

"We needed a touch there before we hit it because they were all set up on the left side," Hallgrimsdottir explained. "I just to smash it in that right side as quickly as I could to get it by the players."

The game-winning goal ultimately gave Carson-Newman their 20th consecutive game at McCown Field without a loss, dating back to 2015. The Eagles have now outscored their opponents 69-14.

With the win, the Eagles have now tied a program record for consecutive games without a loss to start a season. The mark was set to start the 2009 season. The 2015 team won 12 straight games from Oct. 7 to Nov. 15, which remains the current program record.

Jackie Burns collected her fifth clean sheet of the season, having to make just one save going relatively untested throughout the contest.

"These are the games you remember, not the ones you win by five-six-seven goals," Duffy explained. "There was a great buzz about the girls this week in training, very focused and I didn't have to do much myself. Great performance all-around as we turn right around and get set for Tusculum."

Carson-Newman hits the road for the final three games of the regular season, starting with the Pioneers of Tusculum College on Wednesday, Oct. 18. Game time is set for a 5:00 p.m. start.

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