GC Soccer Clinches Playoff Spot with 4-0 Win over USC Aiken

Bobcat Soccer Seniors
Bobcat Soccer Seniors

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – The Georgia College Soccer squad (6-9-2, 5-5-1 PBC) scored three second-half goals to pull away from USC Aiken (3-12-1, 3-7-1 PBC) 4-0 Thursday night at Bobcat Field.

The match clinches a Peach Belt Conference (PBC) playoff spot for the Bobcats.

Prior to the match, the Bobcats honored their three-member senior class, Renee Mike (Freeport, Trinidad and Tobago), Bailee Munnerlyn (Evans) and Erin Ferris (Atlanta).  

Sophomore Alyssa Bergamini (West Suffield, Connecticut) broke the scoreless tie in the 25th minute of an evenly-matched contest. A deep pass from Cassie Balzano (Douglasville) put the sophomore on the other side of the defense, and as she cut in parallel to the end line, the defender's slide tackle briefly broke her momentum before finishing in the center of the net off the outside of her foot. The goal was Bergamini's fifth on the season.

Balzano doubled the advantage in the 49th minute, taking a pass from Kayla Ruiz (Milton) that deflected off a defender. Balzano was all alone, making a cut to the left past a diving goalkeeper and firing home for the 2-0 lead.

Then, in the 60th minute, Balzano struck again in a mirror-image play. Kai Jeffries (Lawrenceville) this time sent the deep ball in to Balzano, who this time shook the goalkeeper to the right to finish for the 3-0 lead. The goal was her 11th of the season. The 11 goals ranks third in single-season history at Georgia College, tied with Meredith Moran (2005) and Sofia Lekas (2018).

Sophomore Ryann Smith (Sharpsburg) capped the scoring with her first career goal at the 80:31 mark. Ruiz worked her way into the left corner, and sent a cross into the box. Freshman Ellie Watson (Newnan) flicked the ball along to Smith, who finished with her left foot to the top of the net. Watson and Ruiz both record assists on the play, the first of Watson's career, and Ruiz's first this season.

Freshmen Kate Richardson (Marietta) and Haley Titus (Savannah) split time in the shutout, Richardson taking the first 79 minutes with five saves and Titus making one stop in her 11 minutes of work.

The Bobcats now await the completion of PBC play Saturday to find out their postseason opponent.

The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup and the 2017 PBC Sportsmanship Institution of the Year, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.