JACKSON, Miss. – The Spring Hill College women's soccer team survived a late rally by the Belhaven University Lady Blazers to win a Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) decision by a score of 5-2 with three goals in the final six minutes at H.T. Newell Field on Wednesday evening.
The Badgers struck first in the 22nd minute of play when sophomore forward Sidi Genus of Great Bay, Jamaica, slipped in goal past Belhaven keeper Isabelle Granlund.
SHC junior goalkeeper Abby Massengale of New Orleans, La., faced eight shots with two saves in the first 45 minutes to maintain a 1-0 Badger lead going into the halftime intermission.
Genus would strike again in the 57th minute after accepting a crossing pass to the middle of the field from sophomore forward Courtney Harlan of Mobile to score from 10 yards out.
Belhaven (8-3, 2-3 SSAC), however, answered back with a goal by Chelsea Smith in the 59th minute and a Jordan Organ goal in the 72nd minute to tie the game at 2-2.
Freshman defender Lauren Clement of Scottsdale, Ariz., scored the third and deciding Badger goal as the clock ticked into the 84th minute with a long-distance missile off a free kick from 50 yards out and then sophomore midfielder Hannah Michael from New Orleans closed the door with a fourth SHC goal less than a minute later.
Junior defender Tatiana Gonzalez of Ocean Springs, Miss., added the icing for the Badgers with the fifth goal of the match in the 88th minute.
Massengale made eight saves against a total of 26 shots by Belhaven while Granlund stopped seven of 18 Badger shots.
Riding a four-match winning streak, the Badgers (9-2, 4-1 SSAC) will host the 10th-ranked William Carey University Lady Crusaders (8-4, 5-0 SSAC) at Library Field on Saturday at 1 p.m. with the top spot in the SSAC on the line.