UNF beats South Alabama part of weekend split, gives Hamilton her 50th career win

Andrew Nichols

A defensive game for both sides ended in a 1-0 win for UNF (3-5-2) over University of South Alabama giving Head Coach Linda Hamilton her 50th career win.

“I think the girls really played a tough game today,” said Hamilton. “I think they really took to heart the things they needed to improve on from Friday’s game.”

The game started sloppy for the Ospreys, conceding early corners but only allowing one shot on target from USA (7-3-1) in the first half.

Near the end of the first half, things picked up for UNF as Linkfield found herself with the ball at the top left corner of the box.

“Lot of build up play back and forth and I saw the ball go across the goal mouth,” said Linkfield. “I chased it down and saw that the keeper was out so just hit it.”

Linkfield’s hit found the back of the net for the game’s only goal.

Thea Linkfield goes for a 50/50 ball in a Friday night loss Furman. Linkfield rebounded on Sunday with a goal and a UNF win. (Photo credit: John Shippee)
Thea Linkfield goes for a 50/50 ball in a Friday night loss Furman. Linkfield rebounded on Sunday with a goal and a UNF win. (Photo credit: John Shippee)

The Ospreys were able to force 11 shots, finding the target 4 times in the first half.

“I thought the movement off the ball was really good and I thought our midfielders did well with possessing and switching the point of attack,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton added they were finding the right seams and really opened the attack up for the team.

Linkfield felt the team was able to do more offensively, finding more links to the midfield.

“Attack felt good, we’ve been making runs lately,” said Linkfield. “But the midfield and the pass game hasn’t been able to play off our runs. This game we were able to play feet and it was a lot easier to handle.”

With the offensive third finding improvement, the defense stepped up and helped junior goalkeeper Megan Dorsey to her first shutout of the season and her 8th career shutout.

“Finally having a game with a shutout felt great. I really have to give it all up to my defense,” said Dorsey. “South Alabama only had a couple of shots on goal and the defense worked their butts off.”

USA had a total of 14 shots, though only finding the target 7 times, each shot met by Dorsey.

The defense was given a game plan that they followed rather well.

“We were trying to figure out a way to not get scored on right away,” said Dorsey. “So the first 15 minutes we said nothing in the 18. I think that really motivated us to clear anything out.”

Mistakes are something common in the game of soccer, one missed tackle or player caught watching and the game can be lost.

This is something the Ospreys have had some trouble with in the past few games, including a few in this game in the middle of the field that led to breakout chances from USA, but were able to hold out.

“You always feel bad for the backs, especially when you play good games and then one mistake seems to hammer in the backline,” said Hamilton. “Obviously for the backs and the goalkeeper, having that shutout is a boost in confidence.”

The Ospreys begin their Atlantic Sun Conference play next week when they travel to Stetson (2-5-1).