MACON, Ga. - Five different Mercer women's soccer players scored goals in the Bears' 6-0 shutout over Alabama A&M on Friday night at Bear Field.
The Bears (3-1-1) dominated the pace of play and finished outshooting the Lady Bulldogs (0-5-0 32-2 on the night. Friday night's game was the most lopsided win for the Bears since a 5-0 shutout against Stetson in the 2010 A-Sun Championship semi-final. The 32 shots were the most in nearly a year when the Bears had 34 against Alabama St. last season.
Mercer got out to a quick start as sophomore Lauren Gassie continued her strong early-season play, scoring off a free kick just outside the Lady Bulldogs box in the seventh minute. The goal is Gassie's team-leading third of the season. The Bears peppered Alabama A&M's Linda Aboagye with seven shots in the first 15 minutes of play.
In the 30th minute, the Bears jumped out to a 2-0 lead when a long cross from Gassie was deflected off an Alabama A&M defender into their own net, resulting in an own goal. The latter portion of the first half saw the Bears miss a couple of other close opportunities and the team went into halftime leading 2-0.
In Mercer's four previous games the Bears had struggled to find the scoring touch, but on Friday they were able to even their season scoring total with four goals in the second half. The Bears came out, took control and looked much more poised finishing their chances off 17 shots in the period.
Fifteen different Bears recorded a shot in the game and all four goals in the second were career firsts for several players. Sophomores MacKezie Stewart and Rachel Buffalo and freshmen Sydney Brogden and Kailey Bryan all netted their first goal en route to the 6-0 shutout.
The Bears defense also looked strong in limiting just two shots in the contest. Junior Nikki Atkinson received the win starting in goal, but freshman Maggie Cropp took over in the second to finish with a clean slate.
The Bears will have the day off tomorrow before heading to out Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama on Sunday afternoon. Kickoff between the Bears and Crimson Tide is scheduled for 2 p.m. eastern.