It took until the 66th minute for Ashley Howarth, the reigning USA South Player of the Week, to score her first goal while her second would be the game winner in the 72nd minute and her third would be icing on the cake in the 86th minute in a 4-1 victory over Ferrum in the first round of the USA South Tournament.
On a cold and wet evening that saw little action and zero scoring in the first half, it would take an outstanding effort from an outstanding player to turn the tide and that is exactly what Ashley Howarth did for the Scots. Maryville would outshoot Ferrum 6-5 in the first half but neither team would be able to find the back of the net. This would not be the case in the second half.
In the 66th minute of play Howarth, the junior from Knoxville, would score off a rebound to break the ice on a scoreless game. Less than five minutes later, in the 70th minute, a defensive miscue would lead to the only Ferrum goal on the evening. Not to be outdone, Howarth would answer back in the 72nd minute and once again on a rebound opportunity. The Scots third goal of the evening would come off the foot of reigning USA South Freshman of the Week Sierra Siegel with the assist going to Alexis Franco. And fittingly the final goal of the evening was once again scored by Ashley Howarth and once again unassisted.
"We were sluggish in the first half and didn't play that well," said head coach Pepe Fernandez. "Our team really picked it up in the second half and while Ashley got the goals, out team did a great job of putting her in a position to be successful. I'm glad we've got our first USA South Tournament victory under our belt and I'm excited for the coming weekend in Martinsville."
The Scots improve to 12-3-1 on the year and will now face Christopher Newport in the semifinal round next Saturday at either 5:00pm or 7:30pm in Martinsville, VA.