Kelley opens collegiate account as Sweet Briar drops opener

Kelley opens collegiate account as Sweet Briar drops opener

SWEET BRIAR, Va. — Sophomore Sarah Kelley found the back of the net for the first time in her collegiate career, as the Vixens fell 5-1 in the 2018 opener against Christendom at Babcock Field on Friday evening.

The match, which ended in the 83rd minute due to darkness, saw the opening goal come in the ninth minute as Samantha Stahl converted a spot kick to give the Lady Crusaders (1-0-0) a 1-0 lead.

"I'm really proud of the fight our girls showed today," said head coach Jason Capps. "Our response to the unfortunate penalty was tremendous, getting forward quickly and putting one in the back of the net. Playying undermanned, I was very happy to see that fight."

Sweet Briar (0-1-0) responded in the 17th minute when Kelley (Swansboro, N.C.) scored the first goal of her career. Kelley corralled a loose ball off a corner and slotted her shot inside the near post.

The eventual winner for Christendom came in the 31st minute when Gemma Youngman scored at the near post off a cross from Martha Blank.

Senior Caroline Thomas (Appomattox, Va.) split time in goal with sophomore Sammy Holton (Arbutus, Md.), with Thomas notching four saves and Holton stopping three shots.

Sophomore Lera Cordner (Macungie, Pa.) joined Kelley in the shot column, forcing a save from the Christendom goalkeeper.

First-years Hannah Denson (Sanford, N.C.), Abby Cahill (Powhatan, Va.), Sara Story (Phenix City, Ala.) and Shay Young-Mitchell (Silver Springs, Md.) all made their collegiate debuts, while sophomore Kendal Tharpe (Saxe, Va.) and junior Maciel Garcia (Occoquan, Va.) joined the first timers on the pitch.

Sweet Briar has a quick turnaround from Friday evening, with a 4 p.m. kickoff scheduled on Monday at Regent in Virginia Beach.