Posted: Saturday, November 10th 2012 at 1:35am
Saints Advance to NCAA Second Round with 4-1 Win Over Wingate
SAVANNAH -– The North Georgia College & State University women’s soccer team was in uncharted territory last season after they defeated Wingate University in the first round of the NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Tournament. The win was the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament win and set up a matchup with Peach Belt Conference powerhouse Armstrong Atlantic State University where the Saints’ 2011 season ultimately came to an end.
This season, the Saints are better prepared for the challenge they will face Sunday as they have played No. 1 Armstrong twice already this season and also have the experience from last year’s tournament.
North Georgia (15-4-2), which entered the 2012 edition of the national tournament as the No. 5 seed in the Southeast Region, knocked off regional No. 4 Wingate (14-3-2) 4-1 Friday afternoon at the Armstrong Soccer Field, sending the Saints to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the second straight year.
The Saints never trailed through the 90 minutes despite a bit of a slow start as they picked up momentum as the game progressed and were able to keep the pressure on Wingate’s defenses.
Senior Abby Trevino recorded two of the Saints’ four goals on the afternoon, including the first goal of the game when she volleyed a cross from Caroline Wallace into the net in the 24th minute.
Megan Morrow extended the lead to 2-0 when she connected put a penalty kick into the back of the net in the 37th minute but Wingate’s Taryn Grivois cut the deficit back to a manageable one goal just three minutes later.
After taking the 2-1 advantage into halftime, it did not take the Saints long in the second half to add some breathing room as Cicely Taliaferro score an unassisted goal just two minutes in.
Trevino put the icing on the cake with her second goal in the 53rd minute, giving North Georgia enough breathing room that every player on the travel roster was able to see action.
The Saints ended the contest with a 21-9 advantage in shots while the Bulldogs took one more corner kick (4-3) than the Saints.
Mallory Sayre recorded three saves in goal for the Saints as she sealed her 15th win of the season while Miriam Boucher made four saves en route to accepting her third loss of the year.
North Georgia will enjoy a day off on Saturday to rest and prepare before turning their attention to the Pirates on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m.
During the regular season, then ninth-ranked Armstrong escaped with a 4-3 victory in overtime at their home field on Sept. 29. The top-ranked Pirates then avoided an upset last week with a late surge that lifted them to a 2-1 victory over North Georgia in the semifinal round of the PBC Soccer Tournament.
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