King falls at Brevard in season opener

BREVARD, N.C. – The King University women's soccer team opened the 2013 season at Brevard College and the Tornados took a lead in the first half. Brevard netted a pair of goals early in the second half to gain separation and take the 3-1 victory.

King (0-1) put pressure on the Tornados early in the game, but play shifted to the other end of the field in the 17th minute when Brevard (1-0) ripped three shots in a one minute span. After the first shot went wide, freshman goalkeeper Nicole Dagher recorded a save, and the final shot was stopped by the Tornado defense to keep the game scoreless.

Brevard then laced a couple more shots before they broke through in the 23rd minute as Sarah Fonger took a pass from Elena Crowe and netted her first goal of the season. Dagher registered two more saves later in the frame to keep the score 1-0 at the break.

The Tornados extended their lead 10 minutes into the second half, netting two goals in a three minute span to take a commanding 3-0 lead. The first goal came on a deflected shot from Kasi Benskin in the 56th minute, and the other came from Katherine Nickels on a fast break pass from Yuki Soga in the 59th minute.

King then put pressure on the Brevard defense, ripping four shots in a five minute stretch. Devon Shanklin may have had the best opportunity to score as she took a penalty kick that was saved by Brevard goalkeeper Brittany Webster to start the spurt. Rachel Thorpe then took back-to-back shots that were both stopped by the Brevard defense in the 64th minute.

The pressure finally paid off in the 89th minute as Shalisa Barnett scored her first career goal. Barnett took a free kick from the top of the box, and buried the shot to get King on the board. However, it wasn't enough as Brevard took the 3-1 victory.

"I am disappointed with result, we didn't match Brevard's intensity throughout the game," head coach Simon Duffy said. "We moved the ball well in the opening 20 minutes, but after that, passes were off and we were second to every ball. Hopefully we can show up in the home opener on Saturday against Bluefield College."

Brevard outshot King 15-9 in the victory while King had four corner kicks to Brevard's one. Dagher registered seven saves in her first career start, and Barnett accounted for King's lone goal. Paula Doran registered her first career assist on Barnett's goal.

King will look to rebound on Saturday in their home opener when they host Bluefield College. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m., at Parks Field on the campus of King University. King will provide both live stats and live video with both links being found on KingTornado.com.