Soccer strikes down Saints
After a mid-week loss to Lander at home, the Bobcats beat No. 5 North Georgia College & State University on the road
The soccer team lost 3-2 in a thriller against Lander University last Wednesday.
The “Green Out” game was a huge success for Bobcat attendance, inspiring hundreds of students to come out and support the team by creating a sea of green.
Senior management major and President of Thunder Crew Tyler Kemp, who organized the “Green Out” game, says the theme was created to motivate students to come out and support the team.
The extra support proved beneficial for the Bobcats, being tied with Lander at halftime (1-1) and then 2-2 in the second half before giving up the game-winning goal to Lander forward Jamie Shaw with less than four minutes to go. Lander out-shot the Bobcats 21-16.
Determined to alleviate their close loss to Lander, the women’s soccer team headed to Dahlonega, where team history was made.
The team was on the road to face No. 5 North Georgia College & State University last Saturday, who already had seven straight season wins under its belt.
Sophomore forward Ashley Veilleux lead the Bobcats to a 3-2 victory with her hat trick, which is the scoring of three goals in a game by one player. This is the third in GC history, the last one was achieved in 2007 by Hayley Ferrell (2005-08).
This game also became the highest-ranked victory for GC soccer, causing the first loss of the season for North Georgia.
Veilleux scored two unanswered points in the first half, the latter a long shot from 25 yards out.
The forward went into the second half of the game on the verge of making GC soccer history, being only one goal short of the ever-fancied hat trick.
The Bobcats were met with two goals from the Saints within the first 10 minutes of the second half, tying the score 2-2, with the first goal being scored 43 seconds into the half. Sophomore goalkeeper Annie Stephens felt the pressure in the beginning of the second half.
“There was a lack of communication coming out in the second half, those 10 minutes were crazy scary,” Stephens said.
Veilleux had another chance with less than 15 minutes left on the clock.
Senior left-back Olivia Holden passed the ball to Veilleux, who then shot and scored it in the right of the goal, giving the Bobcats the lead 3-2 and solidifying Veilleux’s hat trick.
“It felt like slow motion; Olivia and I locked eyes and then she crossed it to me,” Veilleux said. “I was wide open on the six and then one-touched it in.”
This goal seemed to debilitate the Saints’ spirit, who only managed to make one more unsuccessful shot on goal the rest of the game.
Head coach Hope Clark said says the hat trick was a boost for the team.
“To get a hat trick in our conference alone is a very difficult task, especially against the No. 5 team in the nation, so that was quite inspirational for our team,” Clark said.
Veilleux wasn’t the only team member to make GC soccer history during this hard-fought match-up.
Annie Stephens made 16 saves in this match-up, tying the 2004 GC soccer record holder Michelle Parr.
“It was something I’ve never fully experienced; I felt the pressure all 90 minutes, but my coach is really good at preparing me for that, giving me rep after rep in practice,” Stephens said.
Although a victory for the Bobcats, North Georgia had 32 shots compared to GC’s 14, a statistic that highlights Stephens’ huge contribution to the win.
Clark says Stephens performed well under the pressure.
“That position, being a former goalkeeper myself, is a high-pressure situation that you put yourself into, and Annie really came through huge for us,” Clark said.