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Valkyries Drop Season Opener at Lander

Valkyries Drop Season Opener at Lander

GREENWOOD, S.C. – The Converse College (0-1) soccer team opened the 2019 campaign with a non-conference loss to Lander (1-0) on Thursday evening at Van Taylor Stadium. Converse surrendered one goal in the first half followed by two in the second, falling 3-0.

Score: Converse 0, Lander 3
Records: Converse (0-1), Lander (1-0) 
Location: Van Taylor Stadium, Lander University, Greenwood, S.C.


  • Darian Bankston collected nine saves on the afternoon
  • Lander held a 23-1 advantage on shots, including 12-0 on goal


First Half

The initial 10 minutes of the contest saw the two teams jostle for possession near midfield. However, Kylee Eppl put the Bearcats out front in the 12th minute, taking an assist from Emily Jermstad. Playing much of the first half on the defensive side of the ball, Converse did a stellar job of limiting the damage, holding Lander scoreless over the final 33 minutes to head into the locker room trailing by just the single goal.

Darian Bankston, after allowing the first score, became a wall between the pipes, knocking away four Bearcat shots on goal, helping to keep the Purple and Gold within striking distance. Gianna Mancinelli registered the only shot for Converse four minutes into the opening period.

Second Half

Lander was able to extend its lead in the 51st minute after Brianna Taylor narrowly snuck a ball past Bankston and into the back of the net. Offense was hard to come by over the next 30-plus minutes of game action as both defenses locked in.

However, Katie Newton became the Bearcats' third goal scorer of the evening after bending a shot into the top-right corner of the cage in the 83rd minute, giving LU the 3-0 advantage.


The Valkyries will return to the pitch on Tuesday, September 10, traveling to Harrogate, Tenn. to face the Railsplitters of Lincoln Memorial University. Kickoff for the contest is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.