AIKEN, S.C. - Sophomore forward Kayla Emerson (Fayetteville, Ga.) provided all of the scoring punch the No. 21 Georgia College & State University soccer team (9-1-3, 3-1-1 PBC) would need tonight (Oct. 15) as the Bobcats beat USC Aiken (3-10-2, 1-3-1 PBC) 1-0.
After a freshman season spent on the defensive line, Emerson has emerged as a serious scoring threat under first-year head coach Juan Pablo Favero. She has four goals on the year and a team-best four assists for 12 points. She's also put up points in seven of the last eight games.
Two additional Bobcat goals were called back on offside penalties, and a number of good scoring threats were thwarted by the Pacer goalkeeper.
"This was a tough game mentally," said Favero. "To make the trip, have to wait a bit to start play and have the factor of the first national ranking in school history, it can't be easy to play with all of that on your shoulders. We would've liked a more comfortable result, but we'll take the win and work harder in the next game."
The 7 p.m. start was delayed by a men's game that went to overtime.
Bobcat goalkeeper Mary Rob Plunkett (Augusta, Ga.) was stalwart once again, picking up her sixth shutout of the season, the school-record tying ninth for the team this year. Only threatened a handful of times, Plunkett made two saves in the win.
The Bobcats improve to 3-1-1 in conference play, leapfrogging to two spots to third place in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) standings. They are tied with second-place UNC Pembroke in record, but lost to the Braves earlier this season.
The Bobcats return to action Sunday, Oct. 19 at 1 p.m. for the final non-conference game of the season, traveling to Lincoln Memorial University (10-1-1). The Railsplitters most recently beat Newberry College 2-1 Tuesday night.
The GCSU Department of Athletics sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU 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.