“It was great to receive the acknowledgements from the team, coaching staff and families and to see all the effort they put into recognizing us four,” Russel said. “This game allowed us to truly understand that no game in the postseason is going to come easy and we must approach each one as if it is our last.”
Despite another dominating shot and shots on goal differential, 39-6 and 15-5, the Pirates failed to net a ball for the entire first half, though the Bearcats did not either. They came close however when a Lander forward received a long pass that slipped by the defense and drew a one-on-one with Luckie. The Pirate keeper sprinted out of the box and forced a quick shot, which she deflected to save the goal.
In the second half, Armstrong ramped up the intensity and the attack. Their increased intensity provoked some very physical play. In the 64th minute, midfielder Randi Schroedel was taken to the ground hard and junior Sarah Olin was yellow carded when she defended Schroedel by shoving a Bearcat player away.
It was the first of three yellows on the day, the other two belonging to Lander.
Scoring continued to elude both squads until the 75th minute when another long pass down the middle allowed a Bearcat behind the Pirates back line and drew a one-on-one with Luckie. This time, Lander would put the shot away and take a 1-0 lead.
Following this, Armstrong turned on the switch. They played furiously which resulted in a flurry of corner kicks and shots in the final 15 minutes. Finally, after applying constant pressure for almost 10 minutes, sophomore Olivia DeJong sent a long shot off the cross bar where fellow sophomore Jenny Allen waited to net the rebound. Allen’s 11th goal of the year, second best in the PBC, tied the game at one all.
The rest of the regulation time and both 10 minute overtimes were somewhat sloppy, as both teams showed signs of fatigue and were unable to possess the ball well. Armstrong held the advantage in shots during overtimes but could not capitalize.
The game ended after the second overtime in a 1-1 draw. The tie pushed Armstrong back to third place in the conference behind Columbus State and North Georgia, while it propelled Lander into the conference tourney as the eighth seed.
The first round of the PBC tourney kicked off with Armstrong facing the sixth-seeded Clayton State at home Tuesday, Nov. 3.