By Berry Aldridge, Staff Writer
Quality trumped quantity Sunday, Sept. 6, when the Armstrong Pirates fell to Embry-Riddle University Eagles 1-0 despite taking more shots, shots on goal and corner kicks in their last contest of the 2015 Pirate Shootout. Despite their best efforts, the Pirates could not get the ball to bounce their way and find the back of the net.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t put one away but all we have to do is keep working hard in training and look forward to the next game,” senior Taylor Valley said, “The good thing is we love playing for each other and that showed in the game today.”
It appeared early on that the Pirates’ offense would control the game. Desperate clearings of the ball by the Eagles’ defense awarded Armstrong two early corner kicks. Neither could be converted though and the match fell into a battle of possession and unyielding defenses.
The second half played out the same as the first. Both teams struggled to get any kind of good look on goal and defense shined. Then, in minute 83, a crack in the Pirates’ otherwise flawless armor allowed Eagles’ midfielder Katherine Ebbs a rebound shot that found the back of the net and pushed Embry-Riddle past Armstrong for the lead.
Three minutes later both teams were sent to the locker room due to lightning. A half-hour later, play resumed and apparently the lightning struck any hopes of Pirate retaliation and the game ended without so much as another shot.
“I feel we really outworked them for the majority of the game and were able to see many things we practiced carry over to the field,” senior Taylor Russell said, “We know Barry will be tough next weekend but we are very excited and eager to get to work this week during practice.”
Senior goalkeeper Morgan Luckie notched two saves on the day and juniors Sarah Olin, Erin Berube and sophomores Mckenzie Anderson, Jenny Allen and Amanda Green all had a shot on goal.
Head coach Eric Faulconer said, “This was a tough one to lose. We played very well, but in the end it wasn’t meant to be for us on the day. I am proud of the effort, but if we are going to take the next step we need to learn how to win games like this.”
Armstrong will take the field next weekend when they travel to Milledgeville Friday, Sept. 11, to take on the No. 13 ranked Barry University at 4 p.m.