Eagles Exit SoCon Tournament With 4-2 Loss
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Georgia Southern's magical run through the SoCon Women's Soccer Tournament came to an abrupt end with a 4-2 loss to the College of Charleston in the tournament semifinal. The third-seeded Cougars scored three first half goals to take a big lead into the intermission. Georgia Southern scored twice in the span of a minute to cut the lead to 3-2, but a late Charleston goal sealed the victory. With the result, the Cougars advance to face top-seeded Samford in the SoCon Final.
Just five days prior, the seventh seeded Eagles sprung the upset on second seeded UNCG in the opening round of the tournament. Georgia Southern ousted the tournament's host in the Eagles' first appearance in the postseason since 2006. The defeat capped a memorable year for first year head coach Lindsey Vanderspiegel.
"It's not the ending we had in mind or hoped for, but we certainly feel good about what we accomplished this season," said Vanderspiegel. "Our seniors did a great job all season. They leave here with a legacy that has transformed this team into a group that will compete for SoCon Championships year in and year out. Unfortunately today we fell behind, 3-0 in the first half. I told the team that they needed to focus on scoring one goal at a time and we did twice on some great plays. To Charleston's credit, they are a dangerous team that makes the most of their chances."
The Cougars drew first blood, biting the Eagles for a goal in the 15th minute off the boot of Alli Brashear. A long throw by Maryam Buzza was headed on by Katie Kerr which allowed Brashear to score past the keeper low.
Charleston doubled its advantage in the 37th minute with Franchesca Kentimenos' fifth goal of the season. A pass from McCallie Jones at 22 yards gave the Cougar striker room for the shot which gave Charleston a 2-0 advantage with just eight minutes left in the first half.
The lead grew to 3-0 just five minutes later as Hannah Gmerek scored in the 42nd minute with an unassisted goal for her sixth tally of the season.
Georgia Southern managed just one shot in the first half off the boot of senior striker Sara Oland (Evans, Ga.). Her fifth minute effort sailed wide as the Cougars logged 11 shots in the opening half of play.
Ten minutes after the restart, Georgia Southern rallied to cut the Charleston advantage to 3-2 with two goals in the span of a minute. Paige Grant (Albuquerque, N.M.) logged her first goal of the season with a 40-yard free kick goal.
The second game just 70 seconds later as Courtney Collins (Mason, Ohio) got on the end of an incisive pass by Oland in the 59th minute. Collins Scored her team-high eighth goal of the season as the Eagles cut the Charleston advantage to just a goal.
The Cougars stormed back in the 65th minute to score again off a goal by Gmerek. Her second goal, a rocket from 28 yards, made the score 4-2 with 25 minutes left to play.
Georgia Southern, however, could not muster any more magic in the final half hour as the season came to a close. GSU rallied to post seven total shots to the Cougars' total of 17.
The Eagles close the season at 7-11-2, the best finish since the 2006 campaign. The match was the final outing for three Georgia Southern seniors. Oland along with Candace Marshall (Bridgewater, Mass.) and Krystin Smith (Acworth, Ga.) end their careers with the Eagles deepest run in the SoCon Tournament since 2004.
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- Category: Women's Soccer
- Published on Friday, 04 November 2011 22:32