Written by: Eric Ortiz, Campbell blog contributor
Freshman Shannon Wratchford has scored three goals in Campbell’s last five games, including the game-winning goal in the 3-2 victory against Radford last Sunday night.
Wratchford received a pass from junior Christine Kindt and found the back of the net 58 seconds into the first overtime session.
“During the goal, I don’t really remember my thought process. I remember receiving the ball, but turning and shooting,” said Wratchford. “(But) It was the best feeling ever. Everyone rushed the field and everyone was so happy – just indescribable.”
The Fighting Camels (8-4-0, 3-1-0) bounced back after a tough 3-1 loss to Liberty last week, suffering their first loss in Big South Conference play. The game winner came after Ashley Clark scored in the 73rd minute, resulting in a 2-2 tie at the end of regulation.
“You always go into overtime expecting to win, but I did not expect it be over that quick,” said Campbell women’s soccer head coach Stuart Horne. “[Shannon] started to receive it and was almost dead center of the goal. It was one of those moments where it could go right or go so horribly wrong. She stayed composed and did not get too excited, it was just a really veteran goal.”
Even though she is only a freshman, Wratchford has earned the starting nod for each of Campbell’s twelve games this season as an ever-reliable forward.
“She has started every game for us since she earned her spot at the beginning of the season and her play has really gotten better with every game,” said Horne. “We saw her as someone that could be a goal scorer and she is right on track.”
After netting her third goal over the weekend, Wratchford now sits second behind Ashley Clark (11) for most goals scored this season. The two have developed a very strong attack for the Fighting Camels, making it a growing problem for future opponents.
“From a personnel standpoint, other teams will have to take an account for her now,” said Horne. “It’s not just Ashley that they have to worry about, but now they have to keep an eye on Shannon. It’s good having a freshman that can come in and step right in like that.”
The Camels have already matched their win total from last season and hope to keep adding to the win column as they move deeper into conference play.
“We have a strong possibility of taking out the rest of the season with all wins,” said Wratchford. “As long as we keep pushing and keep pushing each other, we shouldn’t have any problems in conference.”
That begins tonight when the Fighting Camels host Gardner Webb for Hounds on the Hill night at Eakes Athletic Complex. Action starts tonight at 7 p.m., and head coach Stuart Horne expects another competitive Big South contest.
“We’re getting to the point in the conference season where the teams are starting to separate,” Horne notes, “but we can’t look at records. Every game is going to be a dogfight.”