Katie Batson's header off a corner kick in the 85th minute drew University of Mount Olive within a goal, but the rally came up short as the Trojans fell to Converse 3-2 in Conference Carolinas women's soccer Tuesday at Amon Field. The loss was Mount Olive's first in conference play and ended the Trojans' two-match winning streak.
Mount Olive (2-4-0 overall, 1-1-0 Conference Carolinas) trailed 3-1 after Converse scored a pair of goals 65 seconds apart midway through the second half. The Trojans had three corner kicks in a span of 59 seconds and third time was the charm when Batson headed in Maddy Robak's service from the right corner at the 84:53 mark. Mount Olive had five more shots in the final five minutes, including an attempt with six seconds remaining, but was unable to put home the equalizer.
The Trojans trailed by a goal at halftime, but used Jess Hickey's goal on a set piece to tie the match 1-1 at 53:18. Alex Wetherholt's restart from 25 yards out found Hickey for a header just inside the left post. The goal was Hickey's third in two matches.
"I knew we were going to score on the play," said Hickey, a sophomore from Market Hasborough, England. "I just didn't know it would be me who would score."
Converse (6-1-0, 3-0-0) took the lead for good after Alex Marquez converted a highlight reel goal. Marquez dribbled down the left sideline, eluded two defenders in the Trojan third and drilled the ball just under the crossbar to put the Valkyries on top 2-1 at 69:58. Julia Babic scored at 71:03 to give the Valkyries a two-goal lead.
Mount Olive was outshot 16-4 in the first half, but the Trojans limited Converse to a single goal, Georgia Jones' 15-yarder at the 26:29 mark. Converse finished the match with only a 25-22 shot advantage after Mount Olive outshot the Valkyries 18-9 in the second half.
"We were panicking too much in the first half," said Hickey. "Coach (Matt Hisler) told us at halftime to settle down and make good passes, which we were able to do in the second half.
Trojan goalkeeper Gigi Ramirez and Converse keeper Joscelyn Wallace each recorded eight saves. Wallace made a save on a penalty kick late in the second half after a Valkyrie handball in the box.
Tuesday's contest was Mount Olive's third in four days.
Mount Olive concludes its five-match homestand Saturday as the Trojans play host to Erskine in the opening match of a Conference Carolinas women's and men's soccer doubleheader. The women's match vs. Erskine kicks off at 1 p.m., followed by the men's match at 4 p.m.