BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King Lady Tornado soccer team concluded its regular season slate on Saturday afternoon with highs and lows to celebrate. King celebrated the careers of eight seniors playing in their final home contest while helping raise over $100 to be donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation to help find a cure for breast cancer. Despite falling 2-0 to the Trevecca Nazarene Trojans, the team found out later in the day by virtue of other conference matches ongoing that they would play on by advancing to the Conference Carolinas Women's Soccer Tournament.
In their final regular season contest of the season, King dropped a 2-0 decision in non-conference play to the Trevecca Nazarene Trojans. Both goals came in the first half of play from two different players. In the 19th minute, Kate Worley gave the Trojans a 1-0 lead when after possessing the ball and taking it down the right side of the pitch. With space and a clear view of the cage, Worley sent in a chip shot that fit inside the top-right corner, just getting past a diving Morgan Lawson (Goodview, Va.).
The Trojans improved their lead to two goals before going into half when Mandy Nuckols benefitted from traffic out in front of the net. Coming off of a corner kick, the ball sailed into the center of the box and squirted out of a pack of players where Nuckols was waiting. From nearly 15 yards out, she turned and took a shot that found the back of the net, doubling Trevecca Nazarene's lead.
King's offense struggled in the first half and failed to split the Trojan defense in the first half. The Lady Tornado were unable to get a shot off in the first half, though rebounded with seven shot attempts in the second half, landing two on goal.
Morgan Lawson made seven saves in one half of action, leaving the pitch at the turn of the half. Sophomore Amanda Huffaker took over between the posts in the second and made a pair of saves to keep the Trojans off the board.
King near halved the score in the 62nd minute when senior midfielder Heidi Steger (Chattanooga, Tenn.) took a free kick and rang the crossbar. Continuing to apply the pressure, Steger and freshman Rachel Thorpe (Ontario, Canada) went into the Trojan defensive zone less than a minute later. After a graceful feed from Steger, Thorpe created a 1-on-1 opportunity with TNU goalkeeper Bekah Headrick but her shot attempt sailed wide right of the cage.
Prior to the start of the match, eight seniors were honored who played in their final game at Parks Field. Despite injuries, all eight got the chance to start the contest. Those seniors include Heidi Steger, Abbey Kitts, Monica Aguirre, Lauren Kist, Caroline Gentry, Casey Finnell, Chelsea Graves, and Courtney Long.
In addition to the festivities surrounding Senior Day, the team also hosted Breast Cancer Awareness Day. The team proudly displayed pink Tornado Soccer t-shirts during their warm routine while collecting donations toward the Susan G. Komen foundation. After their match, a total of $124.00 was collected to be donated to the organization in an effort to raise awareness and funds for the cure for breast cancer.
Despite the loss, King (4-9-2, 3-6-2 Conference Carolinas) received some encouraging and exciting news following Saturday's women's soccer action around the league. During the day, both Erskine College and Coker College lost in their respective matches which qualified the Lady Tornado for the 2012 Conference Carolinas Women's Soccer Tournament.
King will serve as the No. 8 overall seed and will take on No. 1 Lees-McRae College on Monday, Oct. 29, in Banner Elk, N.C. Match start time for the first round contest is set for 4 p.m.