Tirae Stevens, Staff Writer
With three home matches in a span of six days on their plates, the Armstrong State University soccer team finished the week with a perfect 3-0 mark. These three victories allowed the Pirates to improve their record to 12-1-1 overall and 8-0-1 in conference play. They have also extended their undefeated streak to 13 matches.
On Monday, Oct. 17, the Pirates welcomed the Georgia College Bobcats to Pirate Soccer Field in a match that was rescheduled from Wednesday, October 5 due to Hurricane Matthew. The Pirates were the first to score, when senior Sarah Olin fired a shot during the 32nd minute that caught the crossbar but passed the goal line enough to register a goal.
Georgia College took advantage of defender positioning in the second half and shot a corner kick that rebounded off a Pirate defender and into the net for the own goal, tying the score at 1-all. It would be sophomore Martha Trimbach that would break the tie in the 77th minute, sending a shot that curled inside the near post and past Bobcat keeper Ashlee Graham. The Pirates would hold on to claim the 2-1 victory.
“The Bobcats were a good opponent and they tested us, but I’m proud of the team because we really picked it up in a close game,” junior Randi Schroedel said after the game. “It shows how much we have grown from last year.”
Armstrong State returned to action two days later, hosting the Saints of Flagler College. The Saints were the first to get on the scoreboard in the 22nd minute, thanks to a free kick that allowed Flagler’s Fio Fustagno to propel a shot past Armstrong keeper Erica Laurens. However, the Pirates answered back in the 69th minute, when junior Ashley Green sent a hard-angle shot that appeared to be caught by Flagler keeper Racheal Cecil, but it had gone through her hands. Even though she caught it while in midair, the referee ruled it crossed the goal line and a game-tying goal was awarded to the Pirates.
The Allen twins solidified the win for the Pirates during the 81st minute, as a free kick from junior Michelle Allen found the foot of sister Jenny Allen, who then walked it into the goal to put the Pirates over the Saints 2-1. “I thought during the second half of this game, we played really well and showed a lot of heart,” sophomore Taylor Snell said regarding the win over the Saints.
The last home match of the week for the Pirates came on Saturday, Oct. 22 with a non-conference match against the University of West Georgia Wolves. It was Military Appreciation Night for the Pirates, and the evening was highlighted by a flyover from the United States Coast Guard and a US Army enlistment ceremony during halftime. Current and former members of the US Armed Forces, along with their families, were also recognized throughout the night.
Donning special camouflage-themed uniforms, the Pirates scored very early on during the match- with both of their goals of the night coming before 13 minutes had elapsed. The first came during the fourth minute, when sophomore Asa Thorsen headed in a corner kick from senior Sarah Olin. Olin herself would then strike during the 13th minute, taking advantage from a cross from Jenny Allen and sending her shot just inside the far post. The Pirates would go on to defeat the Wolves 2-0.
“We picked up an important out-of-contest win tonight,” Armstrong head coach Eric Faulconer said after the match. “The quick start allowed us to rest some players after playing a lot of matches in a short period of time.”
Armstrong State traveled to UNC Pembroke on Oct. 24 to play the Braves, then returned home on Thursday, Oct. 27 to host Columbus State University. They will next return to action for the final home match of the regular season on Sunday, Oct. 30, for Senior Day against the North Georgia Nighthawks.