Kaaresvirta records season-high 12 saves for the Pioneers
SAVANNAH, Ga. --- Freshman Tramicka James scored two goals as the No. 21 Tusculum College women’s soccer team played to a 2-2 draw with Armstrong Atlantic State University in NCAA Division II Southeast Region action on Monday at AT&T Field.
Armstrong Atlantic outshot the Pioneers 28-12 in the match, including a 16-7 margin in the first half. The Pirates also edged TC in corner kicks by a 10-8 margin on the afternoon as the two sides played to an even 2-2 score in a 110 minute battle. Freshman goalkeeper Marjaana Kaaresvirta made a season-high 12 saves for the Pioneers while Tracey Mitchell stopped a pair of attempts on goal for Armstrong Atlantic.
James paced the Pioneers with two goals in the match to extend her team-leading goal total to nine. Kayla Durden and Michelle Meade each notched an assist in the match as Meade tied James for the team-lead with seven assists.
Kristin Burton and Morgan Mitchell each tallied a goal for the Pirates on the afternoon as Burton established a new Peach Belt Conference all-time record with her 84th career goal. The senior forward also reached the 20-goal plateau for the third consecutive season. Erin O’Rourke also notched an assist in the match for AASU.
Tusculum opened the scoring in the closing moments of the 11th minute on James’ eighth goal of the season, which was set up by a well-placed through ball by Durden, allowing James to slide the finish inside the far post. Armstrong Atlantic pulled back on terms just over a minute later in the opening seconds of the 13th minute, when Burton bent a set piece inside the far post from distance for her 20th goal of the season.
The Pioneers then netted the go-ahead goal late in the 36th minute when Meade curled a beautifully struck cross to the far post, setting up a driven header by James for her second goal of the match to put TC up 2-1 heading into the interval.
Tusculum held the one-goal advantage until the early moments of the 87th minute when O’Rourke bent a corner into the box, setting up a driven header by Mitchell into the far side of the net to pull the Pirates back on terms at 2-2 and send the match into extra time.
Both sides had numerous chances to net the winner in extra time, but neither team was able to score the breakthrough before the end of the second overtime period.
Tusculum returns to the pitch on Saturday when the Pioneers resume their South Atlantic Conference schedule at home against Wingate University. The match is slated for 2 p.m. at Pioneer Field.
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