October 29, 2011

No. 11 Lady Saints Play No. 18 Armstrong to 1-1 Deadlock

Contact: David Beall, jdbeall@northgeorgia.edu

DAHLONEGA, GA – It came down to the final game of the regular season for the top two teams in the league to meet and lived up to all the hype as No. 11 North Georgia and No. 18 Armstrong battled to a 1-1 tie at the Soccer Complex in Peach Belt Conference action. 

With the win, Armstrong (12-2-3, 9-0-1) captures the PBC regular season championship outright and will be the No. 1 seed in the upcoming PBC Tournament, while North Georgia (14-1-1, 8-1-1) settles for the No. 2 seed and will host a tournament game next Tuesday at a time to be determined on Sunday when the bracket is announced.

The top two teams in the region went head-to-head in the first half, trading chances to score until the Pirates finally broke the scoreless tie in the 34th minute when Brianne Matarazzo played a cross in the box through traffic and Kristina Pascutti was on the other end to tap it in for 11th score of the year. 

North Georgia held a 7-6 edge in shots during the opening half, but never converted and Armstrong Atlantic held the one-goal edge heading to intermission.

The Lady Saints came out firing in the second half and stole the momentum back early and never let it go. North Georgia was on the attack for 35 straight minutes and finally got a goal in the 80th minute when Abby Trevino played a ball wide to Kelly Penston and the sophomore dribbled straight for goal and sent a perfect pass to a streaking Emily Dover who connected on a sliding attempt to knot the score at a goal apiece. 

The score for Dover was her league-leading 14th goal of the year, as the senior is firmly positioned to end the regular season with the most goals in the Peach Belt Conference. Her 14 goals are also a North Georgia record for a single season.

The Lady Saints continued to put pressure on the Pirate defense down the stretch, recording 12 shots in the second half but never taking the lead. North Georgia's defense was next to perfect in the second half, allowing just one shot by Armstrong and giving the offense a chance to knot the score. 

Taylor Lee, Megan Morrow, Melanie Thompson and Emily Bowen continued to prove they are one of the best defenses in the country, holding the Pirates at bay in overtime and sending the game to deadlock following 110 minutes of action.

North Georgia falls to 3-7 all-time against Armstrong, but the two clubs have gone 2-2 in the last four games. If the Lady Saints and Pirates are to meet in the PBC Tournament it would come in the championship game with the two teams starting on opposite sides of the bracket.