By Berry Aldridge, Staff Writer
After an up and down season thus far, the Armstrong State University soccer team opened up the
2015 Peach Belt Conference with a 2-2 draw versus the nineteenth-ranked Cougars of Columbus
State University Friday, Sept. 18.
These two PBC rivals are no strangers to close games between one another. In 18 meetings
between the two schools, 12 games have been decided by one goal or ended in a draw. In the last
two years the Cougars have had the Pirates number, dishing them two losses in PBC conference
play. After a 16th minute CSU goal, it appeared that the conference-favorite Cougars were headed
toward yet another win.
In the twenty-ninth minute, junior forward Sarah Olin tied the game at one-all when she received
a pass and dribbled past defenders into the box and beat the keeper for her first goal of the 2015
“It felt great to tie the game up after they scored first,” Olin said. “We needed the momentum
badly, and Taylor (Valley) played me a great ball, and luckily I was able to shoot over the keeper
for the goal.”
The 1-1 score remained at halftime despite heavy pressure from the Cougar offense. Solid
defense mixed with opportune saves from senior goalkeeper Morgan Luckie preserved the game
for the time being.
Head coach Eric Faulconer rallied the troops at halftime and something he said must have
clicked because just a minute and a half into the second half, freshman midfielder Asa Thorsen
received a beautiful pass from senior forward Taylor Valley and netted a ball in the upper right
corner of the net for her first goal of the regular season. Thorsen, hailing from Skien, Norway,
has started every game for the Pirates so far and has made her presence felt here very quickly.
“It was a really good feeling to score in such a big game and rivalry,” Thorsen said. “It was a full
team effort to finish our chances and score.”
Unfortunately, the CSU offense proved to be too much in the late minutes of the game. In the
seventy-sixth minute, the Cougars beat Luckie to tie the score at 2-2 all. That score would remain
through regulation time, and two overtimes.
The tale of the tape shows a lopsided amount of offense in favor of Columbus. The Cougars
ferocious offense managed 23 shots to the Pirates 8, and 12 corner kicks to the Pirates one.
Luckie out-saved her counterpart 6-2 as well.
“Well once again it was another classic against Columbus State. All our games are important, but
this one always has a special feel to it,” Faulconer said. “We played very well for about 60
minutes, but for some reason nerves set in, and we let them back in it. It’s something we are
going to have to fix and will continue to work on it. Overall, it was a great battle against our
Armstrong suits back up to host Belmont Abbey at the Armstrong State University Soccer Field
in a non-conference matchup Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 3:30 p.m.