Armstrong State scored two early second half goals and held off a late Belmont Abbey charge to post a 2-1 Southeast Region women's soccer victory this afternoon at Armstrong State Soccer Stadium. Both teams are now 3-2-1 on the year.
The Crusaders nearly scored the first goal of the match in the ninth minute, as Cierra Skyers eluded a defender and fired a shot past goalkeeper Morgan Luckie, but the ball met the crossbar and bounced away and play continued.
The contest was scoreless at the half, as the two teams finished with two shots apiece, but the Crusaders carried a 4-2 edge in corner kicks.
Armstrong came out strong in the second half, scoring both of its goals in the first seven minutes to power ahead 2-0.
The first marker came in the 50th minute on a strike from Amanda Green, who scored on a header off of a throw in. Three minutes later, Jenny Allen made it 2-0 when she scored off a save from Kaelyn O'Hop.
Armstrong maintained its lead until the 81st minute. After an Armstrong foul in the box that resulted in a straight red card to Allison Litchfield, Cassidy Coutinho converted the ensuing penalty to cut the Armstrong lead down to 2-1.
Belmont Abbey had the final two chances to score in the match, as Coutinho's shot in the 84th minute sailed wide right, and Jillian Lang's chance cleared the crossbar in the 87th minute.
Armstrong outshot the Abbey 12-8 but the Crusaders held a 6-5 edge in corner kicks. The Pirates were whistled for 18 fouls, including the red card, while the Abbey was called for just three fouls.
Megan Bowen tended the goal for the first half, making one save. O'Hop played the final 45 minutes, stopping one shot. Luckie did not make a save.
Belmont Abbey returns home Saturday at 1:00 when hosting Emmanuel.