By Berry Aldridge, Staff Writer
On Friday Aug. 14,the reinvigorated Armstrong women’s soccer team scored three times while only allowing one goal to drop the Division 1 North Florida Ospreys in both teams opening scrimmage. Coach Eric Faulconer returned the vast majority of talent from his 2014 squad on both offense and defense.
With no great surprise, sophomore forward Jenny Allen struck first for Armstrong in the 15th minute when she received a ball from freshman Asa Thornton and netted the opening score of the contest. Allen, last year’s Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the year, was recently awarded a spot on the PBC preseason all-conference squad along with senior defender and Captain Taylor Russell.
At the end of the first of three periods, the score was tied at 1-1. The second period was a possession battle with its only goal coming with six seconds left in the period. Junior midfielder Kailey Goins gathered a corner kick from fellow junior Sarah Olin and then put away what would eventually prove to be the game winner. Had the game been only the traditional two periods, it would have been a very dramatic way to start off the season.
However, the scrimmage did last another period which allowed new players from both teams to try and make an impression upon coaches and teammates alike. One such impression came in the 20th minute of the third period when the Pirates’ freshman Casey Couch booted a shot from roughly 25 yards out to score the final goal of the contest.
Senior goalkeeper and Captain Morgan Luckie said, “After only two days together I think we looked really good. We were able to jump on them early and continue to play at a high level for the rest of the game and this first win gives us good momentum and confidence moving forward.”
“We feel very lucky to have most of our starters back this year, providing us with more experience and confidence,” Allen said.
The Pirates have high expectations this year, but they certainly have their doubters. They were ranked fourth in the PBC Preseason Poll that released Monday. They hope to prove those critics wrong though and re-capture their first PBC title since 2012.