MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - In the waning seconds of the first overtime period, the Georgia College & State University soccer team (9-5-4, 5-1-3 PBC) took advantage of possibly their last chance in the frame, as sophomore Megan McAlpin (Newnan, Ga.) scored the game-winner with a header in a 2-1 win over USC Aiken tonight (Oct. 28) at Bobcat Field.
A foul and yellow card had given Georgia College a free kick opportunity near the center of the field, about 40 yards out. Senior Daria Owen (Snellville, Ga.) put a charge into one, finding the underside of the crossbar. An alert McAlpin capitalized on the rebound, heading it into the left side for the win with just 38 seconds left.
After a scoreless first half, the Bobcats struck first with 5:56 left in the second stanza. The USC Aiken defense attempted to clear the ball up the middle, but Owen picked off the pass from her midfield spot, and rocketed a 35-yarder for her third goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.
Catching the Bobcat defense off guard after their score, the Pacers worked down the field quickly, netting the tying strike on a botched Bobcat clear just 1:11 later. The two teams went into overtime at 1-1.
It was in overtime that McAlpin's heroics came into play, her fourth goal of the year. Owen was credited with the assist, her first on the season. The Bobcats remain undefeated in overtime (3-0-4) and when they score (9-0-1) this year. They also can't be beat when McAlpin has points, as in her two-year career the ‘Cats are 14-0.
Defending Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Goalkeeper of the Week Mary Rob Plunkett (Augusta, Ga.) made six stops in seven tries in the win. The Pacer goal ended a scoreless stretch of a whopping 536:26 for Plunkett this season, dating back to Oct. 7. Nicole Westphal made seven saves in the losing effort.
The win was also the 55th in program history, a 55-36-21 mark all-time. GCSU has never lost to USCA, going 5-0-1.
A victory gives the Bobcats 18 points in the PBC standings, leapfrogging Lander University into fourth place. The No. 4 slot is crucial, as the top four teams host PBC Quarterfinal match-ups Tuesday, Nov. 3. With one game left, Georgia College could finish as high as tied for second, or as low as sixth.
The Bobcats are back in action Saturday, Oct. 31 at 4 p.m., hosting the University of Montevallo for Senior Day.
The GCSU Department of Athletics, winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, 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 Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.