Ellenburg nets header, Pioneers beat Anderson 1-0 in home opener

Kenzie Ellenburg is mobbed by her teammates after scoring in the 75th minute of the Pioneers' 1-0 win over Anderson (photo by Chuck Williams)
Kenzie Ellenburg is mobbed by her teammates after scoring in the 75th minute of the Pioneers' 1-0 win over Anderson (photo by Chuck Williams)

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Kenzie Ellenburg headed home a free kick with 15:30 remaining as Tusculum University defeated Anderson University 1-0 Sunday afternoon in South Atlantic Conference women's soccer action at Pioneer Field.

Playing their first home match of the season after nine straight on the road, the Pioneers (4-6-0, 1-3-0 SAC) overcame a 15-8 shot deficit to claim the victory over the Trojans (4-4-0, 2-3-0 SAC) and snap a four-game losing streak. Danielle Breen made three saves to earn her first career shutout for the Pioneers.

Ellenburg's first goal of the season came following a foul by the Trojans with 16 minutes to play near midfield. Yvette Raaijen's free kick sailed to the box, and Ellenburg headed the pass inside the far post past Anderson keeper Madison Paige for the only goal of the afternoon.

Anderson nearly took a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute as Bethany Morgan broke behind the defense and beat Breen, but the flag was raised for offside. In the 22nd minute, Breen saved a shot from the right wing by Kirsten Armetta but could not collect the rebound, which eventually caromed to Gabbie Fleming who fired square off the crossbar from 20 yards. A third attempt by Erin Cepeda was headed just over the frame as the match remained tied.

A free kick by the Trojans' Melanie Maddox was collected by Breen in the 33rd minute, while shot attempts off corner kicks were sent high by Anderson's Maggie Black in the 35th minute and Spencer Heming in the 37th minute as the teams would go to halftime with the Trojans holding an 8-2 edge in shots.

Early in the second half, the Trojans again were unlucky as a shot from 30 yards by Haley Sanneman went off the far post. Another attempt by Sanneman in the 56th minute from 20 yards was knocked over the crossbar by Breen.

Following the goal by Ellenburg, Tusculum looked for another goal in the 76th minute but a shot from 20 yards by Tina Haig was corraled by Paige. Anderson's last chance came following a free kick with 1:08 left, but Fleming's attempt went off the top of the crossbar and bounced out of play, and Tusculum was able to run out the clock with no further danger.

Paige finished the afternoon with two saves for the Trojans, who were called for nine fouls as a team to 13 by the Pioneers. Tusculum was also flagged twice for offside and Anderson once, but the Trojans had a 6-1 edge in corner kicks over the Pioneers.

Tusculum will remain home to play Shaw on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Pioneer Field in a non-conference match against the Bears.