October 4, 2008

Bobcats Battle Pirates to Hard-Fought Tie

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MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - The Georgia College & State University soccer team (7-1-2, 1-1-1 PBC) scored one goal to Armstrong Atlantic State University's (5-3-3, 2-1-2 PBC) three, but the Pirates knocked one in their own goal, making tonight's (Oct. 4) contest at Bobcat Field a 2-2 tie.

Sophomore Mary Rob Plunkett (Augusta, Ga.) took on her biggest test of the season, facing 12 shots for a season-high 10 saves, including a number of diving and leaping efforts.

Armstrong Atlantic wasted little time getting the scoring started, as its leading goal scorer Kristi Burton knocked in her 11th of the season halfway through the eighth minute. Jennifer Brian and Bjorg Magnea Olafs set up Burton for the go-ahead strike, the first goal the Bobcats have surrendered at home this season.

Georgia College's leading scorer Hayley Ferrell (Hampton, Ga.) answered eight-and-a-half minutes later for her seventh goal of the season. Freshman Karen Bonilla (Manassas, Va.) sent a pass to Kayla Emerson (Fayetteville, Ga.) deep into the right corner. Emerson worked a cross-pass around a defender and into the box, and Ferrell re-directed the pass into the empty net left by Pirate goalkeeper Tracey Mitchell.

In the 21st minute, the Pirates put the Bobcats ahead on a similar play, as Emerson worked a beautiful cross pass into the box, and instead of finding the foot of junior Jamie Nevin (Grovetown, Ga.) she found AASU defender Brian, who in a sliding attempt to clear instead knocked it past her own goalkeeper, ending the half at 2-1 GCSU.

As the clock ticked through the second half the confidence rose for the Bobcats, sighting the first victory in program history over AASU.

With just under seven minutes left, a ball was sent out of the box to the left side, finding the feet of the playmaker Burton. She took her time, sending an arcing shot into the box that Plunkett punched out, using her entire 6-foot frame. The loose ball made its way to the right, where Kayley Ralton headed it off the crossbar and down into the net.

Both teams rode out the final 26 minutes (including both overtimes) with minimal good scoring chances, AASU out-shooting the Bobcats 5-1.

The Bobcats are back in action Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. hosting Georgia Southwestern State University.

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.