October 22, 2011

Lady Saints Take Down Lander with Two First-Half Goals

Contact: David Beall, jdbeall@northgeorgia.edu

DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia women's soccer team jumped out to an early lead on Saturday evening before holding off a feisty Lander squad for a 2-1 Peach Belt Conference win at the Soccer Complex.

The 13th-ranked Lady Saints (13-1, 8-1 PBC) continue their quest for a Peach Belt Championship and are now slated to take on Armstrong Atlantic next Saturday for the title. At 9-0 on the year, the Pirates will win the title outright with a victory or tie, but a win by North Georgia will give them a share of the regular season championship and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming PBC Tournament.

Lander (12-3-1, 5-3-1 PBC) is locked in at the fourth position in the league and will host a first round game in the upcoming conference tournament.

An early defensive miscue led to the first goal of the game when Emily Dover forced a giveaway at the 18-yard box and found herself in a one-on-one with the keeper. The senior did not disappoint in her first chance of the game, taking one dribble to the right of Lander goalkeeper Chelsea Beetch and finding the back of the net to give the Lady Saints a 1-0 lead. The goal in the 10th minute was Dover's Peach Belt leading 13th score of the year.

The Lady Saints knocked on the door with some early corner kicks, but the 42nd minute and the fifth corner kick of the game proved to be decisive when Megan Morrow played the ball in to the far post, and Melanie Thompson headed a pass to Carolina Wallace who sent a strong header home to double North Georgia's lead. Wallace's fourth goal of the year and second score in as many games gave the Lady Saints a 2-0 lead heading to intermission.

North Georgia was cruising in the second half and was on the verge of a shutout, but Lander struck in the 76th minute when a questionable foul was called just outside the box, giving the Bearcats an opening down the stretch. Lander took advantage of the opportunity and Christina Barbour played a perfect ball to the far post and Jamie Shaw finished a sliding attempt for her ninth goal of the season. 

The Bearcats threatened but never came any closer, as the North Georgia defense locked down and handed the Lady Saints their 13th victory of the season. Chris Adams' team is one win shy of equaling the program's most wins in school history, a mark set during the 2010 season.

Taylor Fragnito (2-0) picked up the win in goal for the Lady Saints, allowing the lone Lander score and tallying two saves. Beetch suffered the loss, giving up both goals and recording a trio of saves. 

The Lady Saints return to action next Wednesday evening when they play host to Anderson University for their final non-conference game of the regular season. The contest will serve as Senior Day 2011, as North Georgia will recognize their five seniors.

The 5:00 p.m. kickoff next Wednesday will also be Lumpkin County YMCA Night with a handful of youth soccer teams being recognized during halftime. All Lumpkin County YMCA players who wear their jerseys will be admitted free to the complex.

- The Lady Saints celebrate after Caroline Wallace headed home the game-winner in the 42nd minute -