by Katie Parker, sports information graduate assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - The Bobcat Shootout opened today (Sept. 4) with a pair of shutouts as Florida Tech (1-1) upset No. 12 Armstrong Atlantic State University (2-1), 2-0 and Catawba College (1-1) held off tournament host Georgia College & State University (2-1), 1-0.
The Pirates earned their No. 12 ranking after posting two shutouts last weekend to open the season with a total of 11 goals scored. However, the Panthers didn't let the ranking intimidate them. Florida Tech came out of the gate full speed ahead, outshooting AASU seven to four in the first period.
The Panthers kept clawing their way back on offense in the second half. Junior DeeDee Newland outhustled Pirate goalkeeper Tracey Mitchell beating her to a loose ball to net the first goal of the contest during the 54th minute. Newland's goal was the first for Florida Tech this season.
Mitchell managed to snag six saves this afternoon, including one penalty kick. Melissa Pyles, of Florida Tech, saw some action in between the pipes as well claiming three saves for the game.
With a 1-0 lead in the 83rd minute, Panther sophomore Megan Stone had the ball just inside midfield and maneuvered her way cross field past a sea of Armstrong Atlantic defenders to send one by a diving Mitchell for goal number two, taking the wind out of the Pirates' sails.
The Panthers outshot the Pirates tonight 16-7 with a 6-3 advantage on corner kicks.
Game two of the Bobcat Shootout started off with excitement as Catawba's Maria Borland connected with teammate Meritt Rollins, who blasted one towards the fingers of Bobcat goalkeeper Jessica Binkowski (Cumming, Ga.). The ball bounced off of Binkowski's fingertips making contact with the post, ricocheting into the net during the 16th minute. The goal was Rollins' second of the season and Borland's first assist.
The Bobcats tried to battle back by creating opportunities to score with five shots on goal. The overall shot contest was a draw, with each team recording eight. Georgia College edged out the Indians in corner kicks 3-1.
In the net, Binkowski claimed three saves during her 90 minutes while Catawba's Chelsea Binder recorded five saves for her complete-game effort.
The Bobcat Shootout continues Sunday, Sept. 6 with game one starting at noon matching up Armstrong Atlantic and Catawba. The tournament will finish up after the 2:30 p.m. contest between host Georgia College and Florida Tech.
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