– The North Georgia women's soccer team managed nine
first-half shots in Saturday afternoon's home opener against
Belmont Abbey, but never found the back of the net in a 1-0 loss
against the Crusaders in non-conference action.
North Georgia falls to 1-1 on the season, while Belmont Abbey cruises to a 2-0 mark on the road and overall as the Crusaders open the year with four straight road contests. The Lady Saints open the year with a loss at home, but will have a chance to get back on track at the Soccer Complex with four straight home games in a 10-day period starting next Wednesday.
North Georgia had chances to take the lead in the first half, connecting on nine shots with four on goal, but Belmont Abbey goalkeeper Anna Donaldson was up for the challenge, stopping every attempt and staying perfect on the year in goal.
Following scoreless opening half, both teams played deadlocked with under 10 minutes remaining until Rebecca Mateo found an opening in the Lady Saints' defense and Emily Archer slipped a pass in the middle of the box for the forward who promptly scored inside the left post, giving the Crusaders all the offense they would need in the 1-0 victory.
The 86th minute goal left little time for North Georgia who regrouped, but would not attempt another shot before the clock expired. The Lady Saints held a 12-9 edge in shots, while North Georgia did not allow the Crusaders to take a single corner kick and managed seven of their own, all to no avail. Jessica English recorded four saves for the Lady Saints and allowed the game's only goal.
Both teams committed nine fouls, and a single yellow card was given to the Belmont Abbey bench midway through the second period. Danielle Brannan, Kelly Martin, and Emily Dover all attempted a pair of shots for the Lady Saints, while the Crusaders' Nicole Voets had a game-high four shots in 78 minutes of action.
North Georgia returns to action on Wednesday evening, as they will welcome cross-town rival Young Harris to town for a prime time matchup with the Mountain Lions. The first-ever meeting between the two programs is set for 7:30 p.m. at the North Georgia Soccer Complex in Dahlonega.