DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia women's
soccer could not catch a break in the first half against
10th-ranked Columbus State, and the Cougars took full advantage
with four second-half goals to pull away with a 5-0 victory at the
Soccer Complex in Peach Belt Conference action.
The Lady Saints drop back-to-back games for the first time this season, falling to 12-3 overall on the year and 6-2 in Peach Belt Conference action. Columbus State stays in the hunt for their sixth straight PBC Championship, improving to 13-1-1 overall and 6-1 in league action.
The Lady Saints had a pair of golden opportunities midway through the first half as Kelsey Martin broke free in the 25th minute and sent a shot over the keeper's head that connected with the left post and bounced out, only to be cleared by a Cougar defender.
North Georgia had another look in the 36th minute as Casey Smith drove down the near side of the field and sent a cross into the box that found Leanne South, but the sophomore's header hit the same post, coming back out to South, but the ensuing shot was high, leaving the game scoreless with under 10 minutes to play in the half.
Columbus State would take advantage of the Lady Saints' missed opportunities just three minutes later as Kate Walton found Ashton Ziadie in the box who slid a shot past North Georgia keeper Jessica English to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead.
Just before the intermission, Laurel McKenzie found herself tangled with Lauren Schenk and McKenzie was awarded a red card, forcing Columbus State to play a man down the rest of the contest.
CSU seemed unfazed by the disadvantage however, as the Cougars came out and took a two-goal lead in the 53rd minute as Walton once again started the score, finding Stephanie Parrish who finished for her 10th goal of the season.
The onslaught continued in the 66th minute as Sarah Rogers found Stephanie Lowery to make it a 3-0 CSU advantage. Parrish added another goal in the 79th minute, chipping a shot past English and beating the keeper to the net to tap it in for her second goal of the game and 11th of the season.
K.C. MacEachern capped the scoring in the 85th minute, sliding a shot inside the left post to give the Cougars a 5-0 lead, a score that held true to the final buzzer. North Georgia tallied 21 shots to 17 for Columbus State, while CSU held an 8-4 edge in corners.
The Lady Saints will have to regroup and prepare for a tough road contest on Saturday as North Georgia makes their way to the Sunshine State to take on Flagler College. The battle of the Saints is set to kick off at 5:00 p.m. in St. Augustine, Florida.