Armstrong Soccer: On a Roll Again!
(Nov. 13, 2012) The top-ranked Armstrong women's soccer squad scored three second-half goals to race past North Georgia, 3-1 on Nov. 10 and advanced to the NCAA DII Women's Soccer Championships Southeast Region final for a second consecutive season.
The Pirates (19-1-1) also won their 19th consecutive match, extending its own school record while snapping the Peach Belt Conference record of 18 straight matches, set by Kennesaw State in 2002.
Armstrong's progression to the finals follows their 2012 Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Tournament Championship 2-0 win over No. 20-ranked and third-seeded Columbus State University on Nov. 4 at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans, Ga.
Reflecting on the season's successes, head coach Eric Faulconer said, "This team has dealt with a target on its back all season. To go through the Peach Belt regular season undefeated and to win the tournament is a credit to this wonderful group of ladies. We are excited to be back in the NCAA tournament and look forward to the challenges ahead."
Before the championship tournament game, Armstrong senior Morgan Mitchell was named the 2012 PBC Women's Soccer Player of the Year. Armstrong also placed a school-best seven players on the All-Conference teams, and head coach Eric Faulconer was named the co-Coach of the Year, his third year in a row to receive that honor.
Mitchell has been the driving force behind an Armstrong team that reached unprecedented heights in 2012. A senior from Lilburn, Ga., she leads the Peach Belt Conference in goals scored this season and is fourth nationally in goals. She has three hat tricks this year and is the only PBC player to score four goals in one game. She is also ranked third in the PBC in assists and leads the league with 39 points. Twelve of her 16 goals have come against conference opponents, and she has four game-winners this year for the No. 1 team in the nation. Mitchell is the third Armstrong player to be named the PBC Player of the Year, joining teammate Kristina Pascutti, who was the 2011 co-Player of the Year, and Kristin Burton, who was a three-time honoree in 2006, 2007 and 2009.
Pascutti joined Mitchell as a first-team All-Conference forward on the 2012 PBC All-Conference squad, her third straight first-team All-Conference honor. Also earning first-team accolades were senior midfielder Nadima Skeff, her second career All-PBC honor, and senior defender Emily Cattanach, her first.
On the second team for the Pirates were senior midfielder Courtney Cawley - earning her second career All-Conference honor - as well as junior midfielder Andye Dawson and freshman defender Taylor Russell, who are All-Conference honorees for the first time.
Armstrong women's soccer finished the regular season by remaining No. 1 in the final Continental Tire/NSCAA Division II Coaches Poll.