by Katie Parker, sports information graduate assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - The Little Feet Invitational hosted by the Georgia College & State University soccer team (2-3-1) finished up today (Sept. 13) with three nail bitters as Southern New Hampshire University (3-3-1), Tusculum College (4-2) and No. 11 Carson-Newman College (6-0) all won by just one goal.
Lincoln Memorial University (2-2-2) struck first in game one during the 37th minute as Jessica Meyer sent a cross pass to the foot of Samantha Meek, scoring her first goal of the 2009 campaign. The Penmen answered right back just seconds later when Ariel Teixeira netted one off a deep pass from Kristina Cardoso.
With the things evened up at 1-1 after the first period, SNHU pulled ahead after a Kaleigh Roberge pass in the 46th minute found the foot of Teixeira yet again. The Penmen continued the surge when Roberge got her turn at the 48th minute marker with assistance from Danielle Courtemanche. The goal was Roberge's third this season.
Early in the 55th minute, Railsplitter Becky Thompson put one between the poles from the left side, her sixth this year. Down 3-2, Thompson's teammate Sarah Taylor netted one in the 66th minute fresh off of a defender's head after a LMU corner kick. Tied 3-3 at the end of regulation, the two squads geared up for overtime.
Wasting no time, Penman Kasey Morrison hooked up with Ariel Teixeira, who earned a hat-trick after the Lincoln Memorial goalkeeper was out of position from diving for the pass in the 95th minute. The Penmen beat the Railsplitters 4-3 as Teixeira claimed her fifth goal of the season.
In the net, Casey Les snagged nine saves for SNHU while allowing three goals. For LMU, Sarah Thompson gave up four goals but saved an impressive 15.
Game two of the day was a battle between Tusculum and No. 22 Lynn University. TC took the advantage in the first period when Michelle Meade assisted Kourtney Kavic, who knocked one in right over Lynn's keeper during the 25th minute. The Pioneers extended their lead in the 32nd minute went Courtney Turner found the foot of Robin Smith, her first score of the season.
During the 37th minute, Lynn got on the board after Brittany Evernden passed to Melissa Ortiz. Ortiz then dribbled past the diving Pioneer keeper to score on the vacant goal. Not wanting the Fighting Knights to even things up, Tusculum's Tramicka James netted one unassisted giving the Pioneers a 3-1 advantage in the 44th minute. James scored her second goal of the day off of Michelle Meade pass during the 53rd minute, increasing the lead to 4-1 over Lynn.
Tusculum's last goal came off of Courtney Turner's 45-yard pass from dead ball situation during the 57th minute. Turner's pass found the foot of Ashley Bradford, who recorded her second goal this season.
The Fighting Knights lived up to their name as Natalie Feller hooked up with Tessa Craver to sink Craver's first career goal in the 80th minute. That gave Lynn the spark needed for Melissa Ortiz to net her second of the day off of a corner kick, pulling LU within two. Some fancy footwork in the 86th minute gave Lynn hope as Mindy DeCara scored off of a two shot ball from 30 yards out.
After fighting back from a 5-1 deficit, the Fighting Knights of Lynn fell to the Pioneers' joust 5-4.
TC's Rachel Jennings grabbed four saves while also giving up four goals for a complete game effort, while Lynn's Natalie Feller had two saves and allowed three goals in the first period. Kelsey Butler managed the net for the Fighting Knights in the second period, snagging three and giving up two.
Georgia College faced off with No. 11 Carson-Newman in game three today. Overtime looked inevitable as both team's held off each other's efforts all game. With just 27 seconds left in regulation, the Eagles put up one last shot to try and break the 0-0 tie. Bobcat goalkeeper Jessica Binkowski (Cumming, Ga.) deflected Melissa Morris' shot, popping the ball straight up. Carson-Newman's Trenna Howell managed to make contact and send a header past an off balance Binkowski. The Bobcats fell 1-0 in a heartbreaking loss.
The Eagles outshot the Bobcats 27-7 tonight, keeping the Georgia College keepers busy. Mary Rob Plunkett (Augusta, Ga.) took care of the keeper duties in the first period, collecting five saves while Binkowski also saved five in the second half. Carson-Newman's Lauren McKenzie had one save for a complete game effort.
With the conclusion of the tournament, the All-Tournament Team was also announced. The 11-member team featured three Carson-Newman players, two from Georgia College, Southern New Hampshire and Tusculum and one each from Lincoln Memorial and Lynn.
Carson-Newman: midfielder Andrea Saevik, forward Nikki Brannen and goalkeeper Lauren MacKenzie
Georgia College: midfielders Ally Treat and Kayla Emerson
Lincoln Memorial: defender Becky Thompson
Lynn: forward Melissa Ortiz
Southern New Hampshire: forward Ariel Teixeira and midfielder Kaleigh Roberge
Tusculum: forward Tramicka James and midfielder Courtney Turner
The Bobcats are back in action Friday, Sept. 18 as they travel to the University of West Georgia (2-4) at 7 p.m. The Wolves most recently lost to Florida Tech 8-0 today.
The GCSU Department of Athletics, winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, 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. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.