SAVANNAH, Ga. - Armstrong Atlantic State University head women's soccer coach Eric Faulconer notched his 200th collegiate coaching victory as the No. 17-ranked Pirates downed Lander, 2-0, on Saturday afternoon in the 2013 regular season finale for both teams.
With the win, the Pirates (11-3-3, 8-2-1 PBC) wrap up the thir seed for the upcoming 2013 Peach Belt Conference tournament. Armstrong also finishes a fifth consecutive regular season home schedule unbeaten, pushing its current home unbeaten streak to 51 matches, dating back to 2008. Lander (12-4, 8-3 PBC) finishes with the No. 4 seed in the tournament, which begins on Thursday.
Against the top defensive team in the PBC, the Pirates notched goals in each half to come away with the win over the Bearcats. The first goal came in the 40th minute off of a throwin by freshman Jessi Johnson from the left side. Sophomore Casey Dixon flicked the throw-in with her head across the box and junior Mary Margaret Davis took the one-time touch and placed the ball inside the far post for her second goal of the season. Armstrong enjoyed a 10-5 edge in shots at the break.
In the second half, the Pirates got the crucial two-goal advantage in the 58th minute as a diagonal ball from midfield by sophomore Candace Cosby found sophomore Taylor Valley on the right edge of the box, and Valley beat Lander keeper Katie Lyle inside the far post for her seventh goal of the season. It was just the third time this season that Lander has given up multiple goals in one match.
Lander twice tested Armstrong keeper Morgan Luckie after falling behind by two goals, but Luckie made a pair of saves and eight saves overall in the match to notch her sixth shutout of the season.
"We had a great team effort today against a very good Lander team," Armstrong head coach Eric Faulconer said. "We faced a lot of adversity as of late and the true character of this team showed. We are playing our best soccer at the right time and we are looking forward to Tuesday."
The Pirates finished teh match with a 16-11 edge in shots. Lander goalkeeper Katie Lyle made three saves in net for the Bearcats and Armstrong had a 3-2 edge in corner kicks. The Pirates were whistled for 22 fouls, compared to 17 for Lander, and Lander was offsides three times on the day.
Armstrong will host sixth-seeded Georgia College in a first-round Peach Belt Conference tournament match on Tuesday, November 5, at 2:00 p.m. at the Armstrong Soccer Field.