Columbus State Falls 1-0 to Armstrong in PBC Title Game
Evans, GA – The Columbus State women's soccer team dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker to Armstrong Atlantic State University Sunday afternoon in the Peach Belt Conference Championship match at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans, Georgia. CSU now stands at 15-4-2 on the year while the Lady Pirates improve to 15-2-3.
Armstrong got the game-winner by Nadima Skeff with just 10 seconds remaining in regulation as the Lady Pirates countered a Columbus State attack. The sequence started with Armstrong taking a corner kick which was cleared away to Emily Husted who started a counterattack for the Lady Cougars. Unfortunately for Husted, her touch got away from her and was cleared away to Skeff who led the host of Armstrong players burying down on goal. The left-footer fired a shot just inside the penalty to the lower right corner just past an outstretched Mary Mancin.
It was Skeff's seventh goal of the year and second straight game-winning goal as she scored in overtime versus Lander to propel Armstrong to the championship match. Skeff also received Tournament MVP honors for her work in the PBC Tournament.
Columbus State had numerous chances throughout the contest but was unable to crack through. The first opportunity came off of the foot of PBC Freshman of the Year Kiana Nicholson who beat her defender up the left wing and blasted a shot across the goal that went just wide at the 6:57 mark in the first half. About 10 minutes later Nicholson had a nearly identical setup that resulted in the same result.
Later in the half, Ashley Miller was able to get the end-line on her defender and get a shot off that was blocked. The rebound came out to Kansas Bayly who ripped a shot but was off-target.
Despite outplaying the Lady Pirates in the opening 45 minutes, CSU went into the break knotted at 0-0. The second half was more of the same as the first as the Lady Cougars kept on the offensive taking quality shots but unable to capitalize. Jackie Ellis had a golden opportunity to put her team ahead but her shot sailed a bit high.
CSU's best opportunity of the match came in the 75th minute as a cleared ball came out to Bayly who ripped a shot just outside of the penalty box but Mary Mayville was able to tip the ball over the net and save the potential game-winning goal from finding the back of the net.
Three Lady Cougars were named to the All-Tournament team including last year's tournament MVP Ashton Ziadie. Joining her on this year's squad was Stephanie Lowery and Kiana Nicholson.
Mary Mancin suffered her first loss in 10 matches allowing the lone goal while picking up five saves. Mayville was able to grit out the full 90 minutes making three saves despite being injured in the second half on Bayly's shot attempt.
Columbus State outshot the Lady Pirates 14-12 in the match and also held a slight 6-3 edge in corner kicks. CSU was whistled for seven fouls while Armstrong had five called on them.
The two sides have combined to win the last six Peach Belt Conference Tournament Championships with Columbus State taking home four during that span.
CSU will now wait to hear from the NCAA Selection Committee to see where they will be heading next weekend for the NCAA Division II Tournament.