November 13, 2011

Lady Saints Fall to Armstrong 2-0 in Southeast Regional Semifinal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Beall, jdbeall@northgeorgia.edu

SAVANNAH, GA – The 25th-ranked and 4th-seeded North Georgia women's soccer team had every chance to put top-seeded Armstrong away in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, but the Pirates scored a goal in each half and emerged with a 2-0 victory at Pirate Field. 

The Lady Saints, who end the year at 16-3-1, cap their season as the most successful team in school history. The 2011 squad set program records for wins in a season, the best start in school history and became the first team to advance to the NCAA Division II National Tournament.

Armstrong, ranked No. 7 in the country and holding the top seed in the Southeast, will advance to the Sweet 16 as they look to continue their run in the playoffs. 

North Georgia had plenty of scoring opportunities early including two chances from point blank range in the opening minutes, as Abby Trevino found herself free in the box in the 5th minute, but her laser shot connected with the post and kept the game scoreless. Emily Dover had an equally good look in the 8th minute but the attempt sailed just high of the mark.

The Pirates had their best chance early in the 16th minute when Emily Cattanach sent a shot towards goal that found the post and bounced back into play, only to be cleared by a North Georgia defender. 

The Pirates had an opening in the 25th minute on a free kick and they capitalized to the fullest when Andye Dawson lined up and drilled a shot to the far post that found the back of the net and gave Armstrong a one-goal lead, a score that held true until intermission.

The second half was all about the North Georgia offense peppering Armstrong from every angle, sending shots wide of the mark at every turn. The Lady Saints saw their best chances come off corner kicks as they fired five of their six second-half shots following a corner, but could never find the back of the net. 

Natalie Douglass had a golden opportunity with a header off a corner that would have been the equalizer in the 64th minute, but Armstrong's Kristina Pascutti made the team save and kept North Georgia off the board.

The Pirates made some noise in the 66th minute when they lined up for their first and only corner kick of the game and Dawson sent a perfect ball in the box that was headed home by Morgan Mitchell to double the lead and give Armstrong a commanding 2-0 lead. 

The Lady Saints never gave up however, keeping constant pressure on the Pirate defense, including another header off a corner, this time by Trevino that clanked off the cross bar and back into the box. North Georgia then had two different shots deflected including a possible Armstrong handball that wasn't called before the Lady Saints were whistled for a foul.

Armstrong goalkeeper Maggie Carson tallied just two saves in the game, but recorded the shutout in all 90 minutes of action. Kirsten Ross suffered the loss, allowing both Armstrong goals and picking up just one save. 

North Georgia seniors Kirsten Ross, Danielle Brannan, Emily Dover, Natalie Douglass and Sara Kate Rogers played their final game for the Lady Saints and will leave a legacy that is unmatched by any group to this point. Not only did this senior class take North Georgia to the next level, but they set a standard that teams will strive to equal for years to come.