By Lee Noles
Jones is the key to women’s soccer success
The Wingate women’s soccer team has one of the league’s stingiest goalkeepers in between the posts this season. At the end of the regular season, senior Alexis Jones topped the South Atlantic Conference in save percentage (.868), goals allowed (six) and goals-against average (0.50). This is the second time in three seasons that Jones has led the league in all three of the defensive categories.
The Bulldogs finished 9-3 overall and 8-2 in the SAC with Jones recording six shutouts.
The men’s soccer program at Wingate is the defending Division II National Champions, and the Bulldogs’ success has quite a global touch.
The roster includes 21 players who have come to Wingate from other countries. Chile has the most with six, while England, Italy, Bolivia, Brazil, Spain, Austria, Cameroon and Colombia also are represented on Wingate’s roster. The international players have made an immediate impact with the top four goal scorers for the Bulldogs coming from outside the United States.
The group includes England’s Elliot Cutts, who leads Wingate with 11 goals this season. Chile’s Pablo Jara anchors the Bulldogs’ defense with the goal keeper leading the team with four shutouts.
The Bulldogs, who are ranked 24th nationally in Division II, won their fourth straight regular season conference championship following a 2-1 road win over Tusculum on Oct. 28.
End of a run?
For the last 11 years, the Wingate volleyball team has won the league’s regular season championship, but that streak may be in jeopardy. As of Oct. 30, the Bulldogs were one game behind Anderson for first place in the conference with just four games remaining on Wingate’s schedule.
If the Bulldogs (20-2, 14-2 in the SAC) are not able to leap frog the Trojans in the closing weeks, it would be the first time since 2005 in which Wingate had not won the regular season championship. The current predicament occurred after Wingate lost back-to-back matches in October to Anderson and Queen’s University of Charlotte.
The Trojans, meanwhile, became the league’s hottest team, winning 15 straight following a loss to the Bulldogs on Sept. 15.