October 29, 2012

Weekly Athletics Release 10 – Monday, October 29, 2012

SAAC Selling Wristbands for Make-A-Wish

For two years in a row the North Georgia College & State University Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) has led all of NCAA Division II in raising money for the Make-A-Wish foundation. The organization, made up of leaders from each intercollegiate sport at North Georgia, is hoping to continue that trend during the 2012-13 year. 

The Saints are selling black and blue wristbands for $2 per band to help raise money and 100% of the proceeds will go to Make-A-Wish.

“We are hoping to build a sense of community with these bands,” said Senior Woman Administrator Tiffany Bryson. “When you see a yellow band, you think of ‘Livestrong’ and when you see pink you think of breast cancer awareness. When people see the black and blue wristbands, we want them to immediately think ‘Make-A-Wish’ and also North Georgia athletics. It’s a great way to show both school spirit and support for a wonderful organization.”

Bands can be purchased from any member of North Georgia’s SAAC. A list of those representatives can be found here.

Women’s Cross Country

Next Meet: NCAA Southeast Region Championships (Charlotte, N.C. – 11/3)

The North Georgia College & State University women's cross country team will wrap up their 2012 campaign on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Championships held in Charlotte, N.C.

The Saints last competed in the Peach Belt Conference Championships hosted by the University of Montevallo on Saturday, Oct. 20. North Georgia finished eighth in the women’s 6,000 meter race.

Men’s Golf

This Week: at Matt Dyas Memorial (Carrolton, Ga. – 10/29-30) 

The North Georgia College & State University men’s golf team is in Carrolton, Ga. this week for the Matt Dyas Memorial held at the Oak Mountain Golf Club. The Saints will be competing both Monday, Oct. 29 and Tuesday, Oct. 30 in what will be their final tournament of the fall portion of their 2012-13 campaign. 

Mixed Rifle

Last Week: vs. Columbus State – 2nd / 2nd (10/27)

Next Tournament: at SEARC 3 – The Citadel (11/10-11 – 8:00 a.m.)

Continuing their relentless pursuit of excellence and improvement, the North Georgia College & State University mixed rifle team shattered school and personal records on Saturday, Oct. 27 while hosting nationally-ranked Columbus State University.

The Saints almost pulled off an upset in the air rifle event, with CSU's margin of victory only 15 points, narrowing what was a 52-point gap only two weeks ago when the two in-state Peach Belt Conference rivals last met.

The day started slowly for North Georgia, as the team's smallbore performances fell short of recent record setting levels, with a team total of 2140 out of a possible 2400. Columbus State turned in a strong performance to win with a 2238 total.

Smallbore is a demanding event both mentally and physically for the student-athletes as they shoot from three different positions in a timed setting. The three stances are prone or lying flat on the stomach, kneeling on one knee and standing. 

The afternoon's air rifle event was the big surprise for the Saints. While the Cougars posted a solid 2304 score, four of the Saints posted new personal records to combine for a school record 2289 points which shattered the previous record set just two weeks ago by 32 points.

Setting new personal records while contributing to the new team school record were freshman cadet Ryan Moran (ninth, 559), freshman Sara Howell (eighth, 569), and freshman Kyle Bailey (fifth, 574).

Freshman Casadie Bragg, also with a personal record, led the team to the record setting team total and stunned the field with an excellent 587, earning a solid eight point lead for the individual win. She also broke her week-old school record with the performance.

The Saints have a weekend off and then return to action in a Southeastern Rifle Conference (SEARC) tournament hosted at The Citadel on Saturday, Nov. 10 for air rifle and Sunday, Nov. 11 for smallbore. The following weekend the team will travel to Fort Benning, Ga. to meet Columbus State for the fourth time this season along with nationally eighth-ranked Memphis State.

Men’s Soccer (7-6-2, 3-4-2 PBC)

Last week (0-2): 10/24 vs. Lander University (L, 0-1); 10/27 vs. USC Aiken (L, 1-2 OT)

This week: Away vs. Flagler College (10/30 – 7:00 p.m.) – PBC Tournament First Round

The North Georgia College & State University men's soccer team suffered a pair of heartbreaking losses last week, ending the regular season with a record of 7-6-2. The Saints enter the 2012 Peach Belt Conference Tournament as the No. 6 seed and will travel to No. 3 seed Flagler College on Tuesday, Oct. 30 for the opening game of the tourney.

The North Georgia men came within 43 seconds of captuing a 1-0 victory in their season finale, but in the blink of an eye, the University of South Carolina Aiken Pacers changed all of that. The Pacers went on to post a 2-1 overtime victory at the North Georgia Soccer Field, capturing a spot in the conference tournament as the No. 8 seed.

The two teams were very much evenly matched for much of the game, with Manuel Hernandez giving North Georgia a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute as he cleaned up senior Gustavo Cunha's earlier shot attempt which ricocheted off the cross bar. 

From there, the Saints continued to hold the Pacers' in check, but with just 43 secons left in regulation, USC Aiken's Mark Hanion connected with Jason King to tie the game up at one-all and send the game into overtime.

Just three minutes into the first overtime period, Noel Mais found the golden goal off an assist from Hanion, giving USC Aiken the road victory. 

The Pacers barely out-shot the Saints 14-13 and held a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks. Kristopher Alonzo made three saves, matching USC Aiken's Brandon Jarosz in the category. 

Women’s Soccer (13-3-2, 6-3-2 PBC)

Last week (2-0): at #22 Lander University (W, 3-0); vs. USC Aiken (W, 3-0)

This week: Home vs. Clayton State (10/30 – 7:00 p.m.) – PBC Tournament First Round

The North Georgia College & State University women’s soccer team captured two pivotal Peach Belt Conference games last week to end the regular-season on a three-game winning streak as they downed nationally-ranked Lander University 3-0 on Wednesday, Oct. 24 and then followed that up with a 3-0 victory over the University of South Carolina Aiken on “Senior Night,” Saturday, Oct. 27.

On Saturday night the Saints sent their seniors out in style by capturing a 3-0 win over USC Aiken to close out the regular season at the North Georgia Soccer Field.

The win helped the Saints tie the Lakers of Clayton State University for fourth place in the conference standings, but North Georgia's Wednesday victory over regional No. 2 Lander provided the needed tiebreaker, giving the Saints the spot. As the fourth seed, North Georgia will host Clayton State in the first round of the 2012 PBC Tournament on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 7:00 p.m.

It will be the third year in a row that North Georgia will host an opening-round game for the conference tournament and will also be the second year in a row that the Lakers of Clayton State will travel to Dahlonega for the game.

It did not take the Saints long to light up the scoreboard as Cicely Taliaferro scored her eighth goal of the season in just the second minute of play off an assist from senior Leanne South.

The score ended up being the only one of the half, but North Georgia entered halftime having taken 14 shots while holding the Pacers to not a single shot.

The second half started off very similar to the first as Melanie Thompson scored just three minutes in off a corner kick from fellow senior Taylor Lee. It was Lee's team and conference-leading ninth assist of the season while Thompson's goal was her third of the year.

If there was any doubt the Saints were going to win the game, Kayla Croom put those to rest in the 75th minute as when she scored the team's third goal of the match to essentially put the game out of reach. Sophia Matonak set up the goal.

When it was all said and done, the Saints held a 26-4 advantage in shots and an 8-3 advantage in corner kicks. USC Aiken's Alli Edens made 12 saves in the match but was handed the loss while Mallory Sayre and Amanda Lopez combined to record the shutout with three saves between them.