COLUMBUS, GA – A pair of second-half goals propelled
the North Georgia women's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over
15th-ranked Florida Southern on Sunday morning in the third game of
the PBC vs. SSAC Invitational at the Walden Soccer Complex.
The streaking Lady Saints win their eighth straight game, improving to 9-1 on the year, while the Mocs of Florida Southern fall to 5-3-2 on the season.
The Lady Saints are now 3-0 in their last three games at the Walden Soccer Complex, with two of the wins coming against nationally ranked opponents, including last year's 1-0 thriller over then third-ranked Columbus State University.
The first half saw chances for both sides as the Mocs managed five shots with their best scoring opportunity coming at the 43:37 mark as Princess Haley broke free and fired a shot that was blocked before the North Georgia defense cleared the threat.
The Lady Saints tallied four shots in the first half, with their only shot on goal coming from the foot of Casey Smith who sent a two-hopper toward the net in the 38th minute, but Martina Tangen smothered the chance to keep the game scoreless heading into intermission.
North Georgia came out firing in the second half and drew first blood as Lauren Schenk played a ball behind the defense to a streaking Emily Dover who dribbled toward goal and chipped a shot over the charging keeper that found the back of the net to give the Lady Saints a 1-0 advantage. The 47th minute goal was Dover's third score of the season, while Schenk tallied her third assists of the year.
Kelsey Martin got her chance just six minutes later at the 53:56 mark as Samantha Abrahart headed a ball to the sophomore in the box and the defending PBC Freshman of the Year avoided one defender and slid a shot inside the right post to add to the lead and make it a 2-0 North Georgia lead.
Florida Southern would have an answer in the 74th minute as Sydney O'Hair played a cross into the box that bounced past North Georgia keeper Kirsten Ross, finding Emily Griffith who sent home her second goal of the year to cut the lead in half at 2-1.
The Mocs had an excellent chance to the knot the score in the 84th minute as North Georgia was whistled for a hand ball, setting up a free kick for Kara Moore who sit a shot just over the cross bar.
Florida Southern had one last chance with a free kick outside the box with four seconds remaining, but the direct attempt curled outside the post to send North Georgia to their eighth straight victory.
The Mocs held a 16-10 edge in shots, but the Lady Saints held an advantage in every other statistical category, including corners at 4-3, and saves at 4-3.
The Lady Saints return to action on Thursday evening, traveling to Anderson University for another crucial regional game in non-conference action. Kickoff against the Trojans is set for 5:00 p.m. in South Carolina.