Nov. 13, 2009

Courtesy of AASU

COLUMBUS, Ga. - The No. 14-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State women's soccer squad notched its first-ever NCAA Championships victory with a 5-0 first-round win over Belmont Abbey at the 2009 NCAA DII Southeast Regional at the Walden Soccer Complex in Columbus, Ga.

The No. 3-seeded Pirates (16-3-3) advance to face second-seeded and host Columbus State at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday in a second-round match.

The Crusaders (14-6) and the Pirates looked to head into halftime scoreless, but Armstrong Atlantic found the back of the net off of a set piece and the head of freshman Morgan Mitchell. A free kick from sophomore Erin O'Rourke found Mitchell far post, and the All-Peach Belt Conference midfielder headed it past Belmont Abbey keeper Kelsey Lovell in the 41st minute for the first goal of the match.

AASU outshot the Crusaders, 9-0, in the first half.

In the second half, the Pirates put away the match with two quick goals just three minutes apart. Three-time Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year Kristin Burton took a through ball in the 48th minute from Mitchell on the right side and beat Lovell to the far post for her 30th goal of the season, becoming just the third player in PBC history to record a 30-goal campaign.

In the 51st minute, freshman Kristina Pascutti beat Lovell one-on-one in for her seventh goal of the season, putting the Pirates up by three.

A Jesser shot and rebound by Lovell would find the feet of Burton point-blank in the 62nd minute, with Burton converting for her second goal of the match and her 26th career multi-goal match. The pair of goals give Burton 95 for her career, moving her into a tie for seventh place all-time in NCAA Division II history with Carrie Plute of Wheeling Jesuit and Veronica Sansom of Mercyhurst.

Burton's four points on Friday night also moved her into eighth place all-time in DII history with 225, passing Laura Hislop of Franklin Pierce. The four points also give her 76 for the season, setting a new PBC single-season points mark - passing Olaitan Yusuf of Clayton State.

Björg Magnea Ólafs would put the exclamation point on the match with a goal off of a cross by Erin Holt in the 79th minute to make the score 5-0.

The Pirates outshot the Crusaders, 21-4, for the match and enjoyed a slight 2-1 edge in corner kicks. Tracey Mitchell did not have to make a save in her 68 minutes of action, while Meghan Mayville made a pair of saves in net for the Pirates in just over 22 minutes. Lovell made seven saves in net for the Crusaders.

AASU improved to 1-2 in NCAA play, while Belmont Abbey - making its first appearance in the NCAA Championships since 2001 - fell to 2-4. The Pirates also have won the last three meetings between the schools and improved to 3-1 all-time against the Crusaders.