BRISTOL, Tenn. – Behind multiple-point performances from Monica Aguirre and Rachel Thorpe and a stellar performance between the posts from Abbey Kitts, the King Lady Tornado shut out the Brevard Tornados in their home opening match, 2-0, on Wednesday afternoon. Both Aguirre and Thorpe led the team with a goal and an assist in the win to improve King to 1-1-0 on the season.
King scored both of its goals before the 23-minute mark and each score was registered less than seven minutes apart from one another. Freshman Rachel Thorpe (Ontario, Canada) scored the team's first goal of the season coming off a corner kick from teammate Monica Aguirre (Miami, Fla.) inside the 15th minute. As the ball began its descent into a pack of players from both sides, Thorpe emerged from the group and put a head on the ball, sending it into right side of the cage for a 1-0 lead. The goal was Thorpe's first of her collegiate career and was the first of two times Aguirre hit the scoring column.
At 22:01, the senior midfielder found the back of the net herself with help from Thorpe. After a feed from the freshman to Aguirre leading her to the top of the box, Aguirre put a strong right foot on the ball and sent it directly to Brevard goalkeeper Brittany Webster. Webster got a hand on the ball but it ricocheted up into the crossbar and fell back down into the goal to give King a 2-0 lead midway through the first half.
The King defense stifled Brevard early, allowing them only one shot attempt in the first half and limiting them to nine total. Six of Brevard's eight shot attempts landed on net in the second half, but Abbey Kitts (Tazewell, Va.) quelled any scoring chance.
Kitts made seven saves to keep the Tornados scoreless through 90 minutes, including a trio of saves against Brevard's Taylor Hembree. One of Hembree's attempts appeared to be well on its way to halving the King lead, but Kitts went vertical and punched the ball up and over the crossbar for her fifth save of seven in her first action of the season.
The Tornado offense kept constant pressure to the final horn, totaling 24 shots on the Brevard defense. Forward Jamie Grigsby (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) led King with five shot attempts, one landing on goal, while Thorpe followed with four in her multiple-point day in just her second game with King.
King (1-1-0) will host their second of three consecutive home games on Sept. 8 when they host Converse College in their first Conference Carolinas match of the season. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Parks Field. Live stats and video are available for the match.