October 17, 2009

Lady Saints Shock Pirates, Move up PBC Standings

Box Score

DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia women’s soccer team picked up their biggest victory of the year Saturday afternoon, scoring a goal in each half and staving off a furious comeback by Armstrong Atlantic in final minutes to defeat the Pirates 2-1 in Peach Belt Conference action.

North Georgia improves to 7-3-2 overall and 3-2-1 in the Peach Belt Conference with victory, winning their third straight game, while Armstrong Atlantic falls to 10-3-2 on the season, and 6-2 in the league.

The Pirates dominated early, putting pressure on the North Georgia defense in the first 15 minutes, but Kelly Penston turned the tide in the 17th minute as the freshman took a pass from Laura Lane off a deflection in the box and sent a shot just out of the reach of a sliding Tracey Mitchell to give the Lady Saints a 1-0 lead. The goal was Penston’s team-leading sixth goal of the season.

North Georgia held their one-goal advantage into intermission, but struck again midway through the second period as Kelsey Martin headed a corner just inside the left post to send the Soccer Complex into celebration once again. Casey Smith recorded the assist on the corner, while Martin notched her fifth goal of the season on the play.

The Lady Saints marked the Peach Belt leader in goals, Kristin Burton, to perfection until the 83rd minute when she slid through the North Georgia defense and sent a header over the head of keeper Kirsten Ross, pulling the Pirates to within a goal at 2-1. Burton added another chapter to her storied career with the goal, her 18th goal of the season, and 83rd of her career to match the all-time mark in the Peach Belt Conference, now shared with former Clayton State standout Olaitan Yusuf.

The Pirates applied offensive pressure down the stretch, but the North Georgia defense remained solid, thwarting any scoring opportunity by Armstrong Atlantic in the final minutes to come away with the 2-1 conference victory.

Ross picked up the victory for North Georgia in goal, allowing the one Armstrong Atlantic Goal, while recording four saves. Mitchell suffered the loss for the Pirates, allowing both North Georgia goals while picking up three saves.

The Pirates outshot the Lady Saints 13-9, while holding a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks. The victory moves North Georgia to fifth place in the Peach Belt Conference standings, as the Lady Saints will look to finish in the season in the top four spots and host a PBC Tournament playoff game for the second time in as many years.

North Georgia will look to make it four in a row on Monday evening, traveling to the University of Montevallo to take on the Falcons in yet another Peach Belt Conference contest. The Lady Saints have experienced a little bit of everything against the Falcons over the years, posting a mark of 1-1-1 against Montevallo all-time. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.