DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia women's
soccer team opened Peach Belt Conference play with a bang on
Saturday evening, playing host to USC Aiken and using three
first-half goals to drop the Pacers 3-1 at the Soccer Complex.
The Lady Saints win their second straight game, improving to 3-1 on the year and 1-0 in Peach Belt Conference action, while USC Aiken remains winless on the young season, falling to 0-2 overall and 0-1 in the league.
North Georgia opened the game with plenty of energy, winning every ball and converting in the 7th minute as the Lady Saints were awarded a corner kick and Casey Smith sent a strike into the box, finding the head of Samantha Abrahart who converted the first score of the contest.
After 35 minutes of scoreless action, Emily Bowen checked into the game and was effective immediately as Smith served up another corner that was deflected off Natalie Douglass directly to Bowen who chipped it home to make it a 2-0 game.
Bowen was at it again, just 14 seconds later, as the Lady Saints took the ensuing kickoff and Brittany Schmidt found the Brentwood, Tennessee, native inside the box who found the back of the net once again, her second of the game and third of the season to give North Georgia a 3-0 advantage heading into intermission.
The Lady Saints had a slew of chances in the second half, including Abrahart's missed penalty kick, but it was the Pacers who tallied the only score after halftime, tallying a 47th minute goal as North Georgia keeper Jessica English came out and was beat by Brittany Moores who notched her first goal of the year, making it a 3-1 game, a score that held true to the final buzzer.
North Georgia dominated offensively, recording 25 shots to just four to USC Aiken, while the Lady Saints held a 7-1 advantage in corners. Nicole Westphal started in goal for the Pacers, allowing three goals and tallying five saves, while Alli Edens entered for the second half and notched six saves while not allowing a goal. English went the distance for North Georgia, allowing one goal and picking up two saves.
The Lady Saints will look for their third straight win on Tuesday evening, playing host to Newberry College in an all-important non-conference matchup. Kickoff at the Soccer Complex is set for 6:00 p.m.