Lady Cougars Win Conference Tournament Title in OT Thriller
EVANS, GA - Columbus State's Stephanie Parrish poked in a loose ball Sunday after a Lindsey Morgan direct free kick in the fourth minute of overtime to give the Lady Cougars a 2-1 win over UNC Pembroke and their third straight Peach Belt Conference Tournament title. The Lady Cougars (19-3-1) also claimed the league's regular season title for the fourth straight year in 2008.
'Our team showed a lot of character in coming back from a 1-0 deficit,' said CSU head coach Jay Entlich. 'We were ultimately able to get one into the net in that overtime period.'
'We really appreciate the great support we had today. The families of the players, our president (Dr. Tim Mescon) and our athletic director (Jay Sparks) were here for the game and it was great to be able to win this title with them there in support of us,' he added.
The title game was the fourth straight for CSU and also the fourth consecutive year the deciding game has gone to overtime. CSU lost to Clayton State in OT in 2005, defeated Armstrong Atlantic State in a shootout in 2006, defeated AASU again last season in an extra frame.
Parrish got the equalizing goal in the 81st minute after the Braves had taken a 1-0 lead earlier in the second half. Parrish took a long serve from Jill Walthall and beat UNCP goalkeeper Whitney Beverly one-on-one to knot the score. The goal came at the 80:58 mark of the game.
UNCP took a 1-0 lead in the 62nd minute. Rebecca Womack got her head on a feed off a free kick from the left side of the box and was able to poke it over CSU keeper Monica Sanchez. CSU had dominated offensive play for the most part prior to that score.
The Lady Cougars out-shot the Braves 21-6 in the contest with Beverly collecting seven saves. UNCP defenders also thwarted a pair of shots to give the Braves nine total saves on the day. CSU's Sanchez picked up three saves on the day.
CSU also held a 10-4 advantage in corner kicks and collected 10 fouls to just nine for UNCP. Lady Cougar Kim Gaughan received the only caution of the game, picking up a yellow card in the 81st minute.
CSU will now await official word on its post-season destiny on Monday. CSU will likely serve as a host for a portion of the Southeast Regional next weekend at the Walden Soccer Complex. Official notification will come in the late afternoon on Monday, as well as an announcement on game times and opponents.