by Katie Parker, sports information graduate assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - The Georgia College & State University (0-0-1) soccer team opened the season tonight with a defensive battle against Belmont Abbey College (0-0-1) that ended in a double overtime tie.
In the first period, Georgia College outshot Belmont Abbey six to two. Seniors Hayley Ferrell (Hampton, Ga.) and Beth Coughlin (Douglasville, Ga.) contributed to two of the Bobcats six. Junior Jamie Nevin (Grovetown, Ga.) also attempted a goal in the first period while half of GCSU's six shots were attributed to sophomore Jessica Newland (Hiram, Ga.). The Crusaders' Anna Wells got three saves during her 45 minutes and one team save. Sophomore Mary Rob Plunkett (Augusta, Ga.) snagged one shot for a save.
After half time, Belmont Abbey sent in Anna Donaldson to relieve Wells. Donaldson had five saves in her 65 minutes of play. The Bobcats out-shot the Crusaders yet again in the second period (8-3) and then again for a third time in the first overtime with two shots. Plunkett got her second save of the night in the second period.
"Our defensive effort tonight was excellent and we grew as a team," said Georgia College head coach Juan Pablo Favero. "I am very pleased with our effort and shape. We shot more and were able to shut down a strong offensive team. Tonight was a good stepping stone for us as we work on our consistency in attack."
The Bobcats tried attacking from all angles tonight with shots from nine different players. Farrell, Newland and junior Jeni Day (Marietta, Ga.) all took three shots each tonight while Nevin added two. Five others contributed one shot a piece in the double overtime tie against Belmont Abbey.
The Bobcats are back in action Friday, Sept. 5 beginning at 6 p.m. against No. 11 Tusculum College in Columbus, Ga. The next home game is Sunday, Sept. 7 at 2 p.m. against Limestone College.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Georgia College prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Follow the Bobcats and their positive impact on the Milledgeville community at www.gcsu.edu/bobcats.