PBC Women's Soccer Tournament - First Round Recaps
Fey's First-Half Brace Sails Pirates Into PBC
SAVANNAH, Ga. - Sophomore Danielle Fey scored two first-half goals to help the No. 8-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State University women's soccer squad advance to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament semifinals for a sixth straight season with a 5-0 win over Clayton State on Tuesday afternoon in Savannah.
The Pirates (13-2-2) have advanced to the semis in each year of existence as a varsity program since 2005 and are the defending PBC Tournament champions. Armstrong will face the winner of Tuesday night's 4-5 seed matchup of Georgia College and North Georgia in Evans, Ga., on Friday at 5 p.m. Clayton State (6-12) sees its season come to an end with the loss.
Armstrong had several early scoring chances against the Lakers right from the start. A first-minute penalty kick drawn by Kristina Pascutti provided a golden opportunity, but Kelli Bahr's attempt sailed wide to the right. Clayton State goalkeeper Stefania Cola then made four saves in the first seven minutes on Pirate shots and a shot by Armstorng's Courtney Cawley in the 17th minute hit the crossbar.
The Pirates finally broke through in the 25th minute as Nadima Skeff's cross from the right side found the foot of Fey, who beat Cola for the 1-0 lead. That score opened the floodgates as Armstrong would find the back of the net twice more within the next 12 minutes. Morgan Mitchell's long throw bounced once at the top of the box, and Lianne Stricklen touched it past Cola in the 33rd minute for the Pirates' second goal of the match.
Fey would then earn the first-half brace in the 37th minute, beating Cola from a cross by Emily Cattanach to give Armstrong the 3-0 halftime lead. The Pirates outshot the Lakers, 24-2, in the first half.
It didn't take long for Armstrong to add insurance in the second half as Erin Holt wound her way through the Clayton State defense, then delivered a cross over the head of Cola from the right side. Kristina Pascutti ran onto the ball, driving it into the open net for a 46th minute tally to put the Pirates up, 4-0.
Holt would claim a goal for herself in the 55th minute for the Pirates, scoring off of a rebound to close out the scoring.
"We are excited about returning to Evans, Ga., and the Peach Belt Final Four for a sixth straight season," Armstrong head coach Eric Faulconer said after the match as the Pirates improved to 6-0 all-time in PBC Tournament first-round matches. "I was pleased to get goal production from several different players on the day and I thought our defense did a nice job on the dangerous Cherie Sayon for the Lakers."
Armstrong finished the match with a 36-3 advantage in shots over the Lakers and a 4-1 edge in corner kicks. Clayton State was whistled for eight fouls, compared to seven for the Pirates, and Armstrong was offsides five times in the match while the Lakers were offsides twice.
Clayton State keeper Stefania Cola made 14 saves in the match, while Mitchell and substitute keeper Meghan Mayville each collected a save for the Pirates.
Friday's match against either the Bobcats or the Saints will be available on live stats at AASUPirates.com.
No. 12 Columbus State Women’s Soccer Cruises to 5-0 Win Over Lander in Peach Belt
COLUMBUS – The second-seeded Columbus State women’s soccer team made a statement in the opening round of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament defeating Lander 5-0 Tuesday afternoon at the Walden Soccer Complex. The Lady Cougars improve to 17-1-1 on the year while Lander drops to 10-7-1. CSU will now face-off against the winner of the UNC Pembroke/Montevallo game being played tonight.
Although Lander came out trying to slow the game down and make it a defensive battle, the Lady Cougars pounced on them early as Stephanie Parrish scored 5:59 into the contest. Leslie Mathews started the play up the right wing and beat two defenders at the corner of the 18-yard box. The senior then slid the ball across to Parrish inside the penalty box and beat the keeper for the early 1-0.
The offensive fireworks kept on coming as K.C. MacEachern and Kate Walton each netted a goal in the 11th and 18th minute respectively. Stephanie Lowery beat two players similarly to Mathew’s and found MacEachern at the top of the 18-yard box. The forward hooked a left-footed shot to the right post past the diving Katherine Baltz. MacEachern then assisted on Walton’s goal seven minutes later as she laid off the ball and Walton hit a blast from 35-yards out near the left upper-ninety.
CSU took away any ideas Lander might have had of a second-half comeback as they scored their fourth goal just three minutes and thirty-three seconds into the half. Catherine Lovin won the ball in the midfield dribbling pass a defender towards the right corner flag. She then made a pass across the grain to Lowery in the left side of the penalty area and Lowery deposited the ball in the back net for her team leading 17th goal of the year. The senior combination of Mathews and MacEachern hooked up for the final tally of the game. MacEachern ran onto a ball up the left side taking a few dribbles setting up the defender so she could slip a ball across to a streaking Mathews who buried home her second goal of the year.
The Columbus State defense did a tremendous job limiting Lander to nine shots although none of them were threatening. Willi Babillis upped her mark to 9-0-1 on the year playing the first 45 minutes while making three saves. Mary Mancin came in and kept the blank sheet also picking up three saves. Baltz played the full contest for the Bearcats denying three of the eight CSU goals on net. This is the first game all year CSU did not register a corner kick or have an edge in corner kicks as Lander took all five corner kicks in the game.
Several players made some moves up the record books as Lowery now stands in a tie for second on the CSU single-season list with 17 goals. She also took second place on the single-season points list at CSU with 39. The junior is also sixth and eighth in the career rankings for goals and points, respectively. Parrish increased her all-time total in goals to 55 and also points to 129. The 129 points puts her in tie for fourth place in the PBC record books with Katie Roberts of Francis Marion. Mathews now leads the team with seven assists, the fourth best single-season total at CSU. She also is tied for sixth on the career list with 14.
The Lady Cougars return to the pitch on Friday, November 5 in a semifinal contest in the PBC Tournament. CSU defeated both potential opponents, besting UNC Pembroke early in the season 1-0 and downing Montevallo 4-2 last week. The games will be played at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans, GA. In the other semifinal matchup, Armstrong Atlantic will take on the winner of the North Georgia/Georgia College contest. Both matches are set to kickoff at 5:00 p.m.
UNCP Blanks Montevallo, Advances To PBC Tournament Semifinals
PEMBROKE- Anna Svensson and Sheena Mature each netted first half goals for UNCP, while freshman goalkeeper Britney Bennett registered five saves in tallying her ninth shutout of the season, to lead the Lady Braves to a 2-0 victory over Montevallo in the first round of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament on Tuesday evening at Varsity Grounds.
Mature careened her first shot of the game off the right goal post, but Svensson was there to take the rebound and place the ball in the back of the net for her 17th goal of the season just 22 minutes in the game. Mature , again, charged the goal in the 41st minute after taking a pass from Rebecca Womack and struck the ball into the center of the box for her second goal of the season to put UNCP (15-2-2) ahead 2-0. Neither UNCP nor Montevallo (6-11-2) would score in the second half, allowing the Lady Braves to advance to the semifinal round of the PBC Tournament for the second time in three years.
The Lady Braves held strong on defense, holding the Falcons to 15 shots including five on goal. However, the Falcons were unable to break Bennett's streak of 287 scoreless minutes. UNCP outshot Montevallo in the first half, 14-8, but were outshot in the second half, 7-4, as the Falcons repeatedly pressured UNCP's goal.
"Any win in a tournament is a great win and I am proud of the girls for not getting rattled," said UNCP head coach Lars Andersson. "We played well in the first half, but we didn't play well at all in the second half. However, we stayed composed and didn't allow Montevallo use it to their advantage. We need to learn to play all 90 minutes of action."
Womack registered her fifth assist of the season as Mature grabbed her third assist of the season. Mature and Svensson each contributed five and six strikes respectively for the Lady Braves. Montevallo's Denise Mannion, Nicola Stoleworthy, Asgerdur Palsdottir, and Paige Scott each applied pressure on Bennett as they pounded the Lady Braves with three or more shots apiece. Goalkeeper Alyssa Maxwell only grabbed one save of the Black and Gold's three shots on goal.
"Statistically speaking, Columbus State is the favorite," Andersson said. "One, they are the number two seed in the tournament; two, they beat us in the regular season; and three, we haven't beaten them since 2005. However, I must believe that we are going to go out and win every game or I wouldn't be coaching. What happens in the past is irrelevant and we are going to get ready to play them and turn the tables on them."
The Lady Braves head to Evan, Ga., to finish out the PBC Tournament as they face No. 12 Columbus State (17-1-1) in the semifinals on Friday at 5 p.m. The winners of both Friday contests, including the other semifinal matchup between Armstrong Atlantic and North Georgia, will meet in Saturday's championship game at 1 p.m.
Lady Saints Advance Past Bobcats in Penalty Kicks!
DAHLONEGA, GA – The 4th-seeded North Georgia women's soccer team rose to the occasion on Tuesday evening, advancing past 5th-seeded Georgia College 3-2 in penalty kicks as Sara Kate Rogers drilled home the game-winner to send the Lady Saints to their first PBC Tournament victory in school history.
The Lady Saints will now advance to the "Final Four" of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament, traveling to Evans, Ga., and Blanchard Woods Park to take on top-seeded and 3rd-ranked Armstrong Atlantic on Friday evening at 5:00 p.m. The 4th-seeded Lady Saints will look to avenge a 2-1 loss earlier this season at the hands of Armstrong Atlantic, as they will battle the Pirates for the right to play in the PBC Championship game on Sunday afternoon.
One of the most exciting women's soccer games in program history kept spectators on the edge of their seats all night long and it was nothing different as fans made their way to the north end of the field for penalty kicks that would decide the seasons of North Georgia and Georgia College.
Jessica English was placed in goal for the crucial penalty kick shootout and Georgia College's Brittany Borror buried the opening kick in the back of the net, while North Georgia's Casey Smith followed and hit the left cross bar, giving the Bobcats an early advantage.
Georgia College would make two of their next three kicks, while Melanie Thompson, Natalie Douglass, and Lauren Schenk all connected to knot the shootout at three apiece.
Both teams recorded goals in their next two attempts as Brittany Bauschka notched the score, and Danielle Brannan followed and connected to extend the shootout. Olivia Holden was the sixth Bobcat to step into the hot seat, and she was blocked by English, giving Samantha Abrahart the chance to win it, but the freshman was high and wide of the mark, sending penalty kicks to the eighth round.
English came up big once again in the eighth round as Taylor Yee was denied the score, setting up the heroics for Sara Kate Rogers who sent a kick that was blocked by Bobcat keeper Mary Robb Plunkett, but the ball deflected past the goal line, finding the inside of the left post and sending the Lady Saints and the Soccer Complex into celebration.
The quarterfinal round victory is the first-ever postseason win for the Lady Saints since entering the NCAA six year ago, as North Georgia is now 1-5 all-time in the PBC Tournament.
North Georgia had plenty of action in the first half as well when the Lady Saints' second corner kick of the game proved to be decisive as Casey Smith served the ball just inside the far post and Natalie Douglass got a head on it and guided home her fifth score of the year to give North Georgia a 1-0 lead. Smith recorded her nation leading 16th assists of the year on the play.
North Georgia had a chance in the 63rd minute to extend the lead as the Georgia College keeper came out to make a stop and Emily Dover eluded the keeper momentarily, but Dover was pulled to the ground as she attempted a shot that was smothered by Plunkett for her third save of the game.
Emily Dover would get another chance just minutes later in the 65 minute as Brittany Schmidt sent a serve into the box, finding a streaking Dover who sent a diving header to back of the net. The goal for Dover was her seventh of the season, while Schmidt tallied her third helper of the year on the play.
With the Bobcats looking down and out late, Ally Treat single handedly brought Georgia College back to life as the senior scored a pair of goals in a three minute span to knot the score at two goals apiece.
Treat's first goal was from 40 yards out on a pass from Jessica Newland, while her second score was a laser from 45 yards out in the same area, giving Georgia College the equalizer and setting up the improbable finish. After a pair of scoreless overtimes, North Georgia made the most of penalty kicks to advance to the semi-finals of the PBC Tournament.
During North Georgia and Armstrong Atlantic's semi-final contest on Friday evening at Blanchard Woods Park on field #1, Columbus State and UNC Pembroke will battle on field #4, with the two winners squaring off in the title game on Sunday for the PBC Tournament Championship and the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The North Georgia Sports Communications office will have coverage of all the weekend festivities in Evans, Ga., including Friday morning's Fall Festival Banquet with the announcing of the All-Tournament team. The Lady Saints are set to depart Dahlonega, Ga., Thursday afternoon for the weekend's events.