SAVANNAH, Ga. - Sixth-seeded Georgia College scored twice in the second half, getting the match winner in the 85th minute to shock third-seeded and No. 11-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State University, 2-1, in the first round of the 2013 Peach Belt Conference Women's Soccer Championships at the Armstrong Soccer Field on Tuesday afternoon.
With the win, the Bobcats (9-7-2) advance to the semifinals in Evans, Ga., on Friday where they will face the winner of tonight's matchup between second-seeded Columbus State and seventh-seeded UNC Pembroke. The Pirates fall to 11-4-3 on the season and must now await word of a possible at-large berth into the NCAA Championships, which will be announced on Monday, November 11th, at 7:30 p.m.
The loss is the first for Armstrong in the first round of the PBC Championships since the inception of the program in 2005. It also halts a 51-match unbeaten streak at the Armstrong Soccer Field that dated back to 2008.
The Pirates took the lead in the match in the 12th minute as a flick header from sophomore Taylor Valley off of a goal kick found freshman Kennedi Herrmann at the top of the box, and Herrmann slotted the ball inside the near post for the early 1-0 advantage.
Armstrong had two golden chances to push the lead to 2-0 before the halftime break. Georgia College goalkeeper Jessica Catapano made a diving save on a shot from freshman Sarah Olin in the 26th minute, then senior Rachel Hatch hit the crossbar with a shot 33rd minute.
In the second half, Georgia College drew even in the 62nd minute as a corner kick from the Bobcats was tipped out by Armstrong goalkeeper Morgan Luckie. The ball came out to Kacey McInerney on the left side of the box and McInerney fired the ball back in through traffic inside the far post for the equalizer.
With time running down, a defensive miscue by the Pirates created the game-winning chance for the Bobcats. McInerney sprinted down the left side with the ball after the turnover and crossed a perfect ball to the far post for Abby Dalton, who finished in the 85th minute for the 2-1 lead.
"First of all, I'd like to congratulate Georgia College and head coach Hope Clark, who thoroughly deserved to win today," Armstrong head coach Eric Faulconer said. "We had been playing well as of late, but struggled today to get any rhythm and made too many mistakes to get the result we needed to move forward in the PBC tournament."
Armstrong finished the match with a 15-8 edge in shots. Catapano made four saves in net for the Bobcats, while Luckie made three saves for the Pirates. Armstrong held a slight edge in corner kicks, 7-6, and the Pirates were whistled for six fouls, compared to five for the Bobcats. Georgia College was offsides five times in the match, compared to two for the Pirates.