November 14, 2008

Overtime Heartbreaker Ends Season for Bobcat Soccer, 2-1

 Friday, Nov. 14, 2008

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COLUMBUS, Ga. - The Georgia College & State University soccer team's (13-3-4) dream season came to a close tonight (Nov. 14), as the Bobcats lost to Catawba College (16-4-2) 2-1 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament at Columbus State University's Walden Soccer Complex.

The Bobcats controlled the contest, but Catawba took advantage of two small defensive lapses, snapping a pair of goals to end Georgia College's best season in program history.

Game couldn't be decided in regulation, as Catawba's offense sent a ball deep into Bobcat territory early in the first overtime session. A header caromed the wrong direction off a Georgia College defender, and eventually ended up at the feet of Catawba's Alyssa Schoenberg. She took little time putting it in the right side of the net, past All-Peach Belt Conference (PBC) goalkeeper Mary Rob Plunkett (Augusta, Ga.) for the win. Laela Ghorbani recorded the assist.

The Bobcats struck first, as a pair of All-PBC second-teamers linked up. Sophomore Ally Treat (Fayetteville, Ga.) found classmate Kayla Emerson (Fayetteville, Ga.) cutting on the left side, where Emerson made one move to put Catawba goalkeeper Lindsay Webster on the ground and cracked the net for the 1-0 lead in the 29th minute.

It took nearly 40 minutes, but in the 67th, Catawba answered. Erinn Wescoat scored off a Paige Harrington assist, again off a mis-head by the Bobcat defense. Wescoat's goal held the game at 1-1 until Schoenberg won it in overtime.

Plunkett made two stops in four tries, while Webster stopped five of six in the win.

The Bobcats also say farewell to four seniors, as Hayley Ferrell (Hampton, Ga.), Kristen Moore (Newnan, Ga.), Mary Byrne (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Beth Coughlin (Douglasville, Ga.) have all spent the past four seasons, helping to build this program into a regional power. Forward Jeni Day (Marietta, Ga.) is a senior academically, but has one season of soccer eligibility left.

This season the Bobcats enjoyed the best campaign in school history, setting school marks for wins (13) and goals against (10) while getting a league-high seven players on the All-PBC teams. Making their first trip to the NCAA Tournament, Georgia College also earned the first national ranking in school history, reaching as high as No. 19, as well as the best region rank (4) and conference finish (3) in the school's five years of varsity soccer.

The GCSU Department of Athletics sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Follow the Bobcats and their positive impact on the Milledgeville community at www.gcsu.edu/bobcats.