Bulldogs Drop Weekend Exhibition Game to North Florida, 4-2
Jacksonville, Fla. – The Bulldog soccer team was downed by North Florida 4-2 in a season-opening exhibition game at Hodges Stadium on Friday evening in Jacksonville, Fla. The Citadel will stay in town to take on Jacksonville University on Sunday at noon to conclude their preseason schedule.
The young squad is entering their first match of the 2012 season with six newcomers after the loss of eight seniors, six of which recorded an abundance of playing time in their four-year tenure.
"It's always tough to adapt to a new team after losing eight seniors and gaining six freshmen," said senior captain Cassie Palmacci.
The Ospreys jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead within the first 34 minutes of the contest as the Bulldog defense settled in. The Citadel managed to pull one back right before the half as Mariana Garcia put a penalty kick into the back of the net to cut the lead to 3-1 entering the break.
Junior Jillian Meyer came out in the second half and put through a rebounded goal in the 69th minute off of a corner kick that was bumped around by a couple of players near the goal.
The score would remain at 3-2 until the final minute when North Florida's Michele Larrinaga railed her second goal of the game past Bulldog goalkeeper Palmacci to put the Osprey's 4-2 victory in the books.
"I am more than confident that this team will find its stride soon with players like Mariana Garcia, who continues to be a force offensively, and Jannel Johnson, who hits an incredibly powerful strike," said Palmacci. "Defensively, players like Grace Raines, with her consistency, and Taylor Darling, with her composure, will only further help us to future victories."
Palmacci recorded the final 45 minutes in net, accumulated five saves. The Bulldogs posted 12 shots, seven on goal.
The Citadel will conclude their exhibition on Sunday at noon in Jacksonville before opening up the regular season at Charleston Southern on Friday, Aug. 17.
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