The Lady Braves got the best of No. 9 Columbus State Sept. 24 at the Lumbee River EMC Stadium in their Peach Belt Conference rivalry.
Although the Cougars outshot the UNCP Women’s soccer team 22-6, the Lady Braves were able to score the only goal of the contest to lead them to victory.
The game winner came in the first half, at the six minute mark by Stacey Scott.
Amber Watkins received her first assist of the 2016 season when her shot bounced off the keeper and was pulled in by Scott who scored her first goal of the season.
The defense held firm in front of goalkeeper Gina Ryan. Ryan saved eight shots, a season high, in her fourth-straight shutout of the season.
Ryan’s performance gained attention and she received the National Player of the Week.
Columbus State’s best shot of the evening came from Atalia Ramirez, who fired from point-blank range causing Ryan to leave her feet to make the stop.
In the 57th minute of the second half, defender Haley Stewart was the last line of the UNCP defense on a Cougar shot and was forced to clear the ball just before it crossed the goal line.
Scott fired four of the six UNCP shots, including three of the four on goal.
Kate Weisner and Armani Boswell each attempted a shot during the game.
While Weisners’ shot was on goal, she was not able to put it in the back of the net.
Towards the middle of the first half things started to heat up as the Cougars were desperately searching for an answer against the Lady Braves.
The game became more physical as the players were battling for supremacy.
With the pressure mounting, players were being pushed to the ground and the defense increased their level of intensity.
Although the Cougars began to push the pace during the second half, the Braves kept their composure and got the job done.
At the end of the game one of the player’s, Alexis Hurd, said that she felt “nervous during the intense points but was able to stay focused” and keep up the pressure with her teammates.
“CSU is one of the top teams in our conference and it’s great to play against good competition,” said Hurd during a short interview.
he Lady Braves soccer team has increased to 2-0 and looks forward to playing against Georgia College Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. at Bobcat Field.
The next home game will be on Oct. 5 against Francis Marion.