Collén's Golden Goal Lifts No. 23 UNCP Past No. 14 CSU
COLUMBUS, Ga. – A golden goal in the 97th minute by junior Andrea Collén propelled the UNCP women's soccer team to a 1-0 overtime victory over the No. 14 Lady Cougars of Columbus State on Friday evening at Walden Soccer Complex in Columbus, Ga.
No. 23 UNCP (3-0-1, 1-0-0 PBC) earned their first win over the regional power since Sept. 17, 2005, with the victory and they did it despite playing without their only senior and leading goal scorer in Rebecca Womack who was out with an injury. The Lady Braves were outshot by a 21-to-10 total during the matchup, but nine big saves by sophomore Britney Bennett and a sound back line kept the Peach Belt Conference preseason favorite Lady Cougars (1-1-1, 0-1-0 PBC) at bay all evening. UNCP was whistled for 14 fouls compared to just five by CSU and eight of the 13 players UNCP used played the entire game.
"I'm incredibly proud of the way we came back from what was a very disappointing outing on Wednesday night when we not only did not get the result we wanted but we had one of our best players go down with an injury," said UNCP head coach Lars Andersson. "Was it pretty? No, but we found a way to win. I am so proud of the way we battled and fought throughout the game and I couldn't be happier for my team."
UNCP had trouble moving the ball across midfield all night long due to some stifling defense by Columbus State and only recorded three of its nine regular-time shots during the first half.
Both teams pushed the tempo during the last minute of the match, and with the Lady Cougars moving towards the UNCP goal, Stephanie Lowery fired a shot from the 18-yard line with 23 seconds remaining but was denied on a leaping save by Bennett to move the match into extra time.
Collén capitalized on UNCP's best scoring opportunity when she took an overhead pass from freshman Julie Fisher along the left side of the field and struck the ball with the outside of her right foot enough to curve the ball around and sneak it by CSU's Mary Mancin in the upper right corner of the crossbar for her fourth goal of the season.
The Lady Braves look to stay unbeaten when they travel to Carrollton, Ga., on Sunday for a matchup with the West Georgia Wolves at 1 p.m.
FULL VIDEO (Collén's goal at 2:11:00)