Iaciofano game-winner lifts Golden Eagles to first victory

Iaciofano game-winner lifts Golden Eagles to first victory

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Sophomore forward Ellie Iaciofano scored a game-winning goal in the 64th minute of Friday night's game at East Tennessee State to give Tennessee Tech its first victory of the 2011 season.

The Golden Eagles and Buccaneers took a 1-1 tie into halftime that was broken by Iaciofano at 64:44 when she scored off an Andrea Meloff shot that was deflected by ETSU goalkeeper Caitlin Gaughan.

The goal was the first of Iaciofano's career after she distributed two assists as a freshman a year ago.

Tech struck first blood in the first half when junior midfielder Sarah Gawthrop scored unassisted in the 25th minute. Like Iaciofano's goal, Gawthrop scored on the rebound of a Meloff shot that had been saved by Gaughan.

The goal was the second of the season for Gawthrop, who bent in a corner kick against Belmont on Aug. 21.

East Tennessee was quick to answer, scoring the equalizer in the 28th minute on a Jenna Caudle goal off an assist from Morgan Thomas.

That was the only goal the Buccaneers would get on the night, however, as Tech's defense held off ETSU the rest of way and sophomore goalkeeper Becca Toler notched five saves over her 90 minutes in net.

With the win, the Golden Eagles improved to 1-2 on the season while the Buccaneers fell to 0-2 on a night in which the teams battled periods of steady rain.

Tech took 11 shots on the evening compared to 16 for East Tennessee State. In the first half, the Golden Eagles outshot the host squad 7-4 before the Buccaneers took 11 shots in the second half.

It was an efficient outing for the Tech offense, which put seven of its 11 shots on goal. East Tennessee managed six shots on goal but won 10 corner kicks compared to just four for Tech.

Meloff led the Golden Eagle attack, putting three shots on goal, while Jacquie Watkins and Kris Cambron each had one.

Tech returns to action on Sunday at UNC Asheville (0-1). Game time is set for noon CDT.