October 21, 2009

Lady Saints Upset #3 Columbus State in PBC Action

Box Score

COLUMBUS, GA – The North Georgia women’s soccer team made history Wednesday evening, handing 3rd-ranked Columbus State their first Peach Belt Conference loss in four years as the Lady Saints blanked the Cougars 1-0, extending their winning streak to a season-high five games.

The Lady Saints handed the Cougars their first conference loss since September 17, 2005, when Columbus State traveled to UNC Pembroke and fell 2-1. Since that time, CSU has rattled off 36 consecutive PBC victories, the longest streak in conference history. With the victory, North Georgia defeats their first top-5 ranked opponent in school history, while matching their total for most Peach Belt Conference wins in a season with five.

The Lady Saints extend their winning streak to a season-high five games, improving to 9-3-2 overall and 5-2-1 in the league, while Columbus State drops their first game of the season, saying goodbye to their 13-game winning streak and falling to 13-1-1 overall and 6-1 in the Peach Belt Conference.

North Georgia proved to be up for the challenge as Kelsey Martin continued her stellar play with another goal, this time in the 5th minute on a one-on-one breakaway to give the Lady Saints all the offensive their would need in a 1-0 shutouts. Martin found herself with the keeper to beat and slid a shot past CSU’s Kelly Nimmo for the only goal of the game, and her team-leading 8th score of the season.

Columbus State outshot North Georgia 12-8, while holding a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks. Both committed five fouls each, while the Lady Saints took six shots on goal to the Cougars four.

Kirsten Ross picked up the victory in goal, recording four saves in all 90 minutes of action. Kelly Nimmo allowed North Georgia’s only goal while notching five saves in the losing effort.

Columbus State, the #3 team in the country, had only trailed in one game this season entering Wednesday evening, and had to fight from behind for just 30 minute and 35 seconds all season in their 1,270 minutes of action before trailing for over 85 minute against North Georgia.

Just hours before the game, the Lady Saints were ranked 10th in the latest NCAA Division II women’s soccer southeast regional rankings, one of five Peach Belt schools in the poll, including Columbus who sits atop the rankings. North Georgia was ranked as high as fourth in back-to-back weeks early in the season before dropping three straight.

North Georgia currently sits in a tie for third place in the Peach Belt Conference, a mark that would be their highest in school history. The top four teams in the league will host first-round playoff games for the PBC Tournament on November 3.

North Georgia returns home for their final two regular season games, hosting Flagler this Saturday, October 24, with kickoff scheduled for 1:00 p.m. The Lady Saints will then have a week off before hosting UNC Pembroke in the regular season finale on Saturday, October 31.