JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – No. 12 Carson-Newman battled to the end with a man down on Wednesday night falling to the Tusculum Pioneers at McCown Field in a 2-1 final. It was the first loss for the program at home in 25 games since dropping a match 2-1 to Ohio Dominican on Sept. 11, 2015.
It was also the first regular season conference loss since the end of the 2014 season for C-N (6-3, 4-1) when they fell to the Anderson Trojans to finish the year.
Tusculum (5-4-1, 3-2) snapped a four-game losing streak to the Eagles in its third conference win taking advantage of two early miscues by C-N.
Goalkeeper Jackie Burns (Cookstown, Northern Ireland) misplayed a ball in the box that glanced off her chest and landed behind the junior. Before Tusculum was able to let go of a shot on the open net, Burns promptly brought down the Pioneer to prevent the easy goal. The preseason first-team All-SAC selection was sent off with a red card leaving Yvette Raaijen with a penalty kick opportunity.
Newly entered Jessica Fraiture (Hebron, Ky.), who made just her second appearance in a little over two years, made a valiant effort to keep the game at a scoreless tie but it was Raaijen who got the better of the junior netminder.
The goal just under 10 minutes into the match left Simon Duffy's squad with just 10 players on the field for rest of the night. The last time the team played with a player down came in a 2015 matchup with Lincoln Memorial.
Another mistake in net for C-N came in the 37th minute when a long ball bounced over the head of Fraiture, leaving Kate Guildford with an opportunity to clean it up and send it into the open net. C-N would just have eight shots at the break but it included a team save by Tusculum off the foot of Magda Mosengo (London, England) and Alex Brandan's (Knoxville, Tenn.) rocket off the crossbar. The Pioneers lone shots in the frame resulted in both tallies.
A multitude of chances was created by C-N in the final 45 with Pioneer goalkeeper Bailey Bosler becoming the main focal point in the team's win. Mosengo also met the crossbar on the night receiving a Brandan cross that glanced off her head and clanked off the post. Bosler was called into actions three other times coming up with massive stops to keep the lead at two.
The senior forward Mosengo broke through for C-N in the 86th minute on a cross from Jente Kuper (Ottersberg, Germany) as Kuper recorded her first point as an Eagle; however, the goal would be too little too late snapping the team's six-game win streak since falling in the first two games of the year.
"It was a fantastic effort from our part," Duffy said. "It's a tough situation to play with just 10 for the final 80 minutes. They took advantage of two mistakes that rarely happen on our part and it is unfortunate that the only two shots they have in the first half are goals. Fair play to them for being able to take advantage but thought we showed a lot of character. It's not the end of the day and hope we can right the ship on Saturday."
Averi Williams (Powell, Tenn.) eclipsed 6000 minutes in her career after remaining on the field for the full 90 as she currently sits 5th all-time since the program's inception in 1991.
Duffy's group returns to action this Saturday, Oct. 6 when the Anderson Trojans visit Mossy Creek. Game time is slated for 5:00 p.m.