SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, VA – First-year player Alexia Spencer scored three goals, the game-winner coming with 30 minutes remaining, to lead the Richard Bland College of William & Mary women's soccer team to a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Regent University on a damp and misty Tuesday afternoon at Willcox Field.
Leading comfortably 3-0 following Spencer's 14thgoal of the season, a nifty deke around the Regent goaltender who strayed too far outside the box, the Statesmen had to hold off a late Royals comeback attempt that saw the visitors score two goals in the span of ten minutes, starting at the 23 minute mark, to earn the victory.
The home victory improves RBC to 4-5-1 on the season. Regent drops to 0-4. The Statesmen will next travel to Louisburg College for a 4 pm game on Tuesday, October 15.
All of Spencer's three goals were due to her athleticism in the open field. She scored her first goal at the 32:42 mark of the first half, and though Regent made a push toward goals in the final 12 minutes, peppering RBC goalie Paige Brannon with shots and pressing the Statesmen defense, the Statesmen led 1-0 at intermission.
Just six minutes into the second half, Spencer had a near-miss in open space following a nifty feed from Bethany Ferguson, but two minutes later put RBC up 2-0 after Regent's goalie strayed too far from the goal, allowing her to slip to her right and tuck the ball into the near corner of the goal. Spencer's third goal was a mirror image of her second, a slip around her defender and her wide-open goal at the 30:26 mark that gave RBC its 3-0 cushion.
Regent got on the board at the 22:50 mark following a goal by Emily Triplett that slipped just past Brannon's outstretched right arm. Teammate Kayla Powell got Regent within one goal at 3-2 following her goal into the top right corner at the 12:38 mark.
RBC withstood nagging pressure by Regent over the final 10 minutes, but the defense didn't buckle, and Brannon made a few heady saves, including smothering the ball in the crease after a Regent shot had hit the crossbar, rebounded and landed at her feet.
"The ladies played well and kept their composure," said head coach Damien Westfield. "This is a good win for our program as we head into the Louisburg game. The team is making great strides."