SAVANNAH, Ga. — No. 7 Armstrong Atlantic tallied goals in each half to notch a 2-0 victory against No. 25 North Georgia in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Sunday.
With the win, the Pirates (16-2-3) advance to the Southeast Region final for a second consecutive year. North Georgia (15-3-3) sees its season come to a close after a first-ever appearance in the NCAA Championships.
One of the early storylines in the contest was the performance of Armstrong keeper Maggie Carson, the true freshman making her first start in net for the Pirates after starting keeper Meghan Mayville was injured in the PBC championship match.
It didn’t take long for Carson to face pressure from the Saints as Abby Trevino had a shot hit the crossbar and carom out in the fifth minute. Then she made a save on a shot from long range by Kelly Penston in the eighth minute.
Armstrong would take a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute as sophomore Andye Dawson delivered a free kick through traffic in the box and just inside the far post for her fourth goal of the season.
North Georgia held an 8-5 advantage in shots at halftime, but the Pirates kept the one-goal edge into halftime.
In the second half, the Saints kept up pressure, generating four corner kicks in the first 10 minutes of the period. A header from Kelly Penston in the 64th minute to the far post was cleared off the line by the head of forward Kristina Pascutti, and less than 10 minutes later, Armstrong pushed the lead to 2-0 when junior Morgan Mitchell headed home a corner kick from Dawson – the Pirates’ only corner kick of the match.
North Georgia pressured late and looked to have pulled to within one goal in the 89th minute, but Sara Kate Rogers tapped in a ball that was heading into the goal from an offsides position, nullifying the tally.
Armstrong outshot the Saints 7-6 in the second half, but North Georgia finished the match with a 14-12 tally. North Georgia held a 10-1 advantage in corner kicks, but was offsides three times compared to none for the Pirates. Carson made two saves in net for her first career win as a Pirate, while Ross made one save in net for the Saints.
“All credit to North Georgia, who has had a fantastic season and gave us everything we could handle today,” Armstrong head coach Eric Faulconer said. “I’m extremely proud of the effort our players gave today. We defended well and we were opportunistic with our scoring chances.”
“Our players showed a lot of resolve today in defending our home field and advancing in the tournament. We are looking forward to the opportunity to play for a region championship.”