Nov. 14, 2010

Courtesy of Armstrong Atlantic Athletics

Sophomore Morgan Mitchell's far-post half-volley in the 79th minute sent No. 11-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State University into the Sweet 16 of the 2010 NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championships with a 1-0 victory over No. 18-ranked UNC Pembroke on Sunday afternoon at the AASU Soccer Field.

With the win, the Pirates (14-3-2) are into the Southeast Region final for the first time in program history. Armstrong will face fourth-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne - 1-0 winners over Columbus State - in the region final at a South Region site and time to be determined. UNC Pembroke (16-4-2) sees its season come to a close after advancing to the second round in the NCAAs for a second time in program history.

The winning goal came off of a cross from sophomore Danielle Fey from the right side, across the goal face to the feet of Mitchell. Mitchell tucked a half-volley inside the back post for the goal, her fifth of the season, to give the Pirates the 1-0 lead.

"Dani Fey has done what she has done all year long, coming off the bench and giving us a spark," AASU head coach Eric Faulconer said. "She slotted a great ball across the face of the goal to find Morgan Mitchell, who calmly tucked it away."

After the goal, the Pirates held the Braves without a clear equalizing chance, and Armstrong ended up with an 11-1 shot advantage in the second half.

"Overall, I was really pleased by our performance. We created numerous chances and defended extremely well. Our team brought a tremendous work rate to the match today," Faulconer continued. "We're looking forward to playing a very good Lenoir-Rhyne team in the region championship match this week and I'm excited about us continuing our season."

The Pirates had several good scoring chances in a scoreless first half, the best coming just two minutes in as Nadima Skeff had a volley off of a cross that just cleared the crossbar. Armstrong outshot the Braves in the first half, 7-2, and overall for the match the Pirates enjoyed an 18-3 advantage in shots.

UNC Pembroke goalkeeper Brittney Bennett made 12 saves to keep the Braves in the match, while Armstrong goalkeeper Tracey Mitchell needed to make just one save to earn the shutout. The Pirates had seven corner kicks to just one for the Braves.