CARROLLTON, Ga. – It was a good night at University Field for head coach Stacey Balaam and the Wolves soccer team as UWG defeated Union 1-0 in both team’s Gulf South Conference opener, giving Balaam her first career win as a head coach.
It was a pair of freshmen who stood out on the pitch on Friday night as Nikki Conte’s 75th minute goal was the difference offensively. Goalkeeper Jackie Donaldson made six saves on her way to her first career clean sheet in just her second collegiate start.
The Wolves’ offense was attacking all game long, rattling off 19 shots and putting 12 on target, forcing Union’s Kristen Francis to make 11 saves on the night. The one shot Francis couldn’t save came in the 75th minute as junior Rachael Lane sent a cross in that found Nikki Conte, who buried it into the net for her first career goal and a game winner for the Wolves.
Conte, who came off the bench, provided the extra spark that got the Wolves into the win column, all part of Stacey Balaam’s plan.
“We knew we would probably run out of some legs today, which we were relying heavily on the bench to make an impact,” said Balaam. “You know Nikki came off the bench today, and immediately first touch got a goal for us, which was the winning goal,” she added.
With the win, West Georgia gets their first victory of the season, improving their record to 1-1 with a 1-0 mark early in GSC play. Union falls to 1-1 and starts off conference action at 0-1.
West Georgia remains home for the weekend, hosting Christian Brothers on Sunday afternoon.
“We’ve got a quick turnaround with Christian Brothers and they’re going to be a hard team to play against and they always are,” Balaam said after the win.
Sunday’s game is set for a 12 noon kickoff from University Field.