By Berry Aldridge, Staff Writer
The Armstrong State women’s soccer team split a pair of tough games in the Bobcat Shootout this weekend in Milledgeville, GA. First losing 3-1 Friday, Sept. 12 to No. 10 ranked Barry University, they edged North Florida 2-1 to improve their record to 2-2 on the young season.
The first half was for the most part a defensive struggle. The lone goal of the first half belonged to Barry in the 24th minute of play when the Bucs forward attempted to cross a ball that managed to slip into the right corner of the net.
In the 52nd minute, Barry capitalized again and began to pull away with yet another goal. Junior Kennedi Herrman then answered the call for Armstrong when she gathered a rebound after a shot by junior Erin Berube and netted it for her first goal of the season.
Unfortunately, the Pirates narrowly missed a more chances to score and the Bucs scored a dagger in the 83rd minute. The game would end 3-1 in favor of Barry. Armstrong managed 15 shots to Barry’s 17 and senior Morgan Luckie gathered six saves.
“Barry University was very tough competition and made it really difficult for us to gain possession of the ball but we were able to break down their defense and score a goal and had opportunities to score but were unable to put them away,” sophomore Amanda Green said following the loss.
The second game of the weekend on Sunday carried a different tone from the start and it was clear that the Pirates were going to grind out a gutty performance despite such a short turnaround.
Armstrong applied pressure quickly when they forced an own goal after sophomore Michelle Allen dropped a beautiful corner kick into the box and junior Olivia DeJong’s shot deflected off a North Florida defender.
Just a few moments before the half however, the Mocs responded with a goal of their own to send both teams into halftime with a 1-1 tie.
The Pirates’ offense applied heavy pressure throughout most of the second half and they were eventually rewarded in the 66th minute when senior Candace Cosby found a hole in the Mocs’ defense and after receiving a long pass from sophomore Jenny Allen, slotted the go-ahead goal which would prove to be the winner.
“I just saw the space that I could run into and Jenny played me the perfect ball,” Cosby said, “Everyone worked really hard and it feels great to get another win this season.”
Armstrong finished the second game with 14 shots on goal, 11 fouls, and 7 corner kicks. Senior Morgan Luckie picked up five saves on the day.
Head coach Eric Faulconer said, “We had a good game plan against Barry, but the two goal deficit was hard to overcome against one of the best teams in the nation. The game against Florida Southern was difficult because we spent a lot of energy on Friday. We were able to get a great goal from senior Candace Cosby and finish it out for a much needed win. Our strength of schedule to this point has been extremely difficult, but hopefully that will prepare us for the rest of the season.”
Armstrong opens Peach Belt Conference competition next Friday, Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. in Columbus, GA against the No. 3 ranked Cougars of Columbus State University