PENSACOLA, Fla. – Armstrong Atlantic advanced past Columbus State in penalty kicks (6-5) on Friday, setting up a showdown with West Florida in the NCAA quarterfinals on Sunday. The two teams played to a scoreless draw prior to PKs.
It was the first PK shootout win for Armstrong (19-1-2) in program history. Columbus State (18-3-2) saw its season end on PKs in the NCAA tournament for a third time in its history.
A defensive struggle between both teams generated just five shots between the two teams in the first half. The game opened up a bit in the second half as each goalkeeper- Mary Mancin for Columbus State and Morgan Luckie for Armstrong- made saves to preserve the shutout.
As time ran down, Columbus State’s Jackie Ellis had a final header in the 90th minute to try and give the Cougars the win, but Luckie made the save to send the match into overtime.
In the first overtime period, Mancin turned away a shot by senior Nadima Skeff and a header by senior Morgan Mitchell, while the Cougars’ Kansas Bayly scored Columbus State’s only shot of overtime.
The Pirates had four shots in the second overtime period with two saves from Mancin – the second on a Danielle Fey shot in the 108th minute – ensured that the two teams would settle matters in the penalty kick shootout.
Armstrong had only been involved in a penalty kick shootout once in school history – losing a 4-2 PK shootout to Columbus State in the 2006 PBC Tournament Championship. Columbus State turned to substitute keeper Meosha Hatcher for the PK shootout while the Pirates stayed with Luckie.
Shooting first, the Pirates’ Emily Cattanach got the first shot and converted, followed by Columbus State’s Stephanie Lowery. Andye Dawson followed with a successful try for the Pirates and Kelsey Pelletier was on the mark for Columbus State.
Brooke Lamberth made the third penalty kick for Armstrong, followed by Jaci Carrithers for Columbus State. Danielle Fey made the fourth try for the Pirates and Casey Davis made the fourth for the Cougars. Kristina Pascutti made the fifth try for the Pirates and Kansas Bayly was then successful for the Cougars, making it sudden death in the shootout.
Freshman defender Taylor Russell converted the sixth penalty kick for Armstrong and then Luckie stopped Kayla Brown’s shot for Columbus State to send the Pirates through to the NCAA quarterfinals.
“We are excited about advancing to the [quarterfinals],” Armstrong head coach Eric Faulconer said. “Columbus State came in with a great game plan and made the match quite difficult. I thought we were the better team on the day and glad the penalty kick shootout justified our play.
“This team has been special all season and we will need to tap into that again against a very strong West Florida side on Sunday.”
Armstrong held a 17-9 edge in shots as Mancin made eight saves during regulation and overtime for the Cougars. Luckie made four stops in overtime and regulation in addition to her penalty save.
Fouls were 11 apiece between the two teams and Columbus State was offsides four times in the match, compared to twice for Armstrong. Armstrong also held a 7-2 edge in corner kicks.