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VMI women’s soccer drops tight opener to Youngstown State, 1-0

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LEXINGTON, Va. (Via VMI) – A 30th-minute goal by Youngstown State’s Karlee Kline was the difference, as the visiting Penguins of YSU held off the VMI Keydets, 1-0, in non-conference women’s soccer action Friday at Patchin Field in Lexington, Va. The match was the season opener for both schools.

After a corner kick by YSU’s Kyler Lum at 29:15, the ball came free in the box. Kline’s first try was blocked, and the second effort by Katie Hackos resulted in a team save by the Keydets. Kline recovered and put the ball past VMI goalkeeper Darien Dunham on the third attempt, however, for what would prove to be the only goal of the match.

Youngstown State finished the match with a 13-4 edge in shots, with the teams combining for just six total shots in the second half. YSU had five corner kicks to three for VMI, while Dunham was credited with the only five saves of the match.

The Penguins had the first chance of the contest in the fourth minute on a sultry, warm afternoon in Lexington. Off a free kick, Marissa Martin was able to tip the ball toward the net for a shot, but Dunham intercepted it for her first save as a Keydet.

The Keydets then had a pair of chances, but a Kristen Whitehurst try from 20 yards out just missed wide left at 19:06, and freshman Olivia Cotton had a shot blocked well inside the box in the 23rd minute.

Kline’s goal then gave the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute, and the teams combined for just two shots the remainder of the period.

The second half was even more of a battle in the middle third, as only three of the teams’ combined six shots came in the period’s first 42 minutes. Neither squad was able to put a shot on goal until YSU tested Dunham on two occasions in the final two-plus minutes, and the Keydets were not able to find the equalizer as the Penguins held on for the victory.

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