After a more than a week off, the Spring Hill College women's soccer team's NAIA-leading offense was a bit rusty and scored just two goals in the first half of Monday's game with Tennessee Temple University, but it soon shook off its malaise in the second half to take a 9-2 non-conference victory at Library Field.
In the opening period, the Badgers outshot the Crusaders (2-5) by an 18-9 margin, but held just a 2-1 advantage. Freshman Darby Rasch opened the scoring in the 12th minute when she intercepted a pass in the backfield and then outmaneuvered the Crusader goalkeeper for an easy 5-yard score. In the 30th minute, freshman reserve forward Jamie Townley punched in a goal from 15-yards out off an assist by senior Erin Claxton.
The Crusaders answered four minutes later when Kalina Hyde cleaned up the rebound of free-kick shot taken by Kansas Carpenter from 20-yards away but blocked by sophomore Badger goalkeeper Maggie Dalessio.
A 2-1 SHC lead at the intermission suddenly became a 3-1 advantage in the 56th minute when Claxton scored off a touch pass from senior Molly Cowley following a brilliant entry pass from freshman Lauren Clement from more than 30 yards in front of the goal. Less than two minutes later, sophomore Sidi Genus delivered a haymaker blow via an assist by Kaitlyn Blais to grow the bulge to 4-1.
The Crusaders used their free kick game again to score off a beautifully placed crossing shot by Carpenter into the upper left corner from 20 yards out to make it 4-2 with 32 minutes to play.
Spring Hill then slammed the door in the 59th minute with two goals less than 30 seconds apart off the feet of sophomore Courtney Harlan and Rasch.
Another 30-second flourish came in the 79th minute when Townley and Harlan both scored again in a matter of 25 seconds. Sophomore reserve Hannah Michael added the 9th and final goal in the 86th minute.
Dalessio would make eight saves against 14 shots by the Crusaders while Lyndi Dodd made 10 saves for TTU against 30 SHC shots. Both teams attempted two corner kick in the contest and no warning cards were issued.
The Badgers (5-1-0) will next open conference play versus the 23rd-ranked Brenau University Golden Tigers (3-2-1) from Gainesville, Ga., on Friday at 2 p.m. on Library Field.