October 25, 2008

Lady Saints Stand their Ground, Down Pirates 2-0

Box Score

Savannah, GA - North Georgia scored twice in the final 10 minutes to pick up a 2-0 Peach Belt Conference women's soccer victory over host Armstrong Atlantic State on Saturday afternoon, spoiling the Pirates' "Senior Day" at AT&T Field.

The Lady Saints (7-5-2, 4-2 PBC) recorded their first-ever win over the Pirates in five tries, while AASU (9-5-3, 3-2-2) watched an opportunity to secure a first-round home match in the upcoming PBC tournament go by the wayside.

A tough defensive first half saw both teams' scoring opportunities limited by the defense. The best chance of the first half came off of the foot of AASU freshman Erin O'Rourke in the 41st minute, whose quick shot caught North Georgia keeper Jessica English off her line. English tracked back and made a sprawling save, keeping the match scoreless heading into intermission.

In the second half, the Pirates notched five shots in the first 15 minutes, but neither team could find the back of the net. AASU had another golden opportunity in the 77th minute when Lianne Stricklen trapped a loose ball in the box, but her volley was saved by English.

North Georgia would break through in the 81st minute with a goal by Natalie Douglass. A corner kick rattled around the box and found the foot of Douglass about nine yards away, and the freshman converted for her third goal of the season.

The Lady Saints almost had a quick second goal with Laura Lane placing home another loose ball in the box, but obstruction was called on North Georgia, interfering with AASU keeper Tracey Mitchell's efforts to play the ball. The insurance goal would then have to wait until the 87th minute when Casey Smith's pass found a streaking Danielle Brannon, who beat Mitchell for the 2-0 lead to clinch the win.

AASU outshot the Lady Saints on the afternoon, 14-6, including a 9-4 advantage in the second half, but North Georgia held an 8-3 advantage in corner kicks. English made three saves in net to record her fourth shutout of the season, while Mitchell made three saves for the Pirates.

The Lady Saints return to action on Wednesday, October 29, with a 4:30 p.m., hosting GCSU in North Georgia's final regular season home game of the season.