MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Aug. 29, 2015) – Freshman Madison Thomas opened the scoring for the Milligan College women’s soccer team’s 2015 season with an equalizer late in the first half, but the Buffaloes surrendered a goal late in the second half and fell to Rio Grande 2-1 Saturday evening on Anglin Field.
After Rio Grande took a 1-0 lead early in the first half, Thomas’ answer came on a shot she fired from the right side off the far post and into the side netting. Caroline Gill had the assist.
From that point forward, Milligan (0-1) controlled the game, outshooting Rio 16-12, including 10-6 on shots on goal. The Buffs had several quality chances to break the 1-1 deadlock throughout the second half but could not capitalize.
In the 70th minute, Amy Long had an open look from the top of the penalty area, but her shot was saved by Rio goalkeeper Kristin Garn. One minute later, Caroline Gill managed to put her head on a corner kick from Christine Hardin, but missed wide. Two minutes after that, Keri Harrison fired a shot from the same spot as Long’s, but it ended in the same result.
Sami Joy nearly gave the Buffs the lead with 10 minutes left when her free kick from roughly 30 yards out slipped through Garn’s hands and came to a stop on the goal line only to be cleared away by a RedStorm defender.
In the end, it was Rio’s Courtney Young, in the 88th minute, who provided the match-winning goal.
Chances abounded for Milligan in the first half as well. Gill took a free kick from 20 yards out at the top of the penalty area in the 25th minute but missed high; Thomas and Christine Hardin played a nice one-two that freed Thomas up for a good look that was missed; and a corner kick in the 30th minute also left a loose ball in the penalty area that was cleared away by Garn.
Milligan’s 10 shots on goal came from seven players, led by Long, Joy and Brittany Davis, who had two apiece.
On the defensive end, Charlotte Stephens made four saves, one of which she parried off the crossbar, then dove on as it found its way back into the field of play.
A quick turnaround will see the Buffaloes play at home again on Sunday in a matchup with West Virginia Tech beginning at 5 p.m.