Moore's Goal Gives Mocs a Tie With #19 Armstrong Atlantic; Weather Keeps It That Way
BOCA RATON – Kara Moore has played only two games in a Florida Southern uniform, and already she’s made a major impact. Unfortunately for both the Moccasins and Pirates of Armstrong Atlantic State, so did the weather. Moore’s goal with just over nine minutes to play tied the game at one sent it to overtime, but lightning forced an early end to it, forcing the teams to settle for a 1-1 tie.
The weather was a major issue throughout the day. The game began with a heat index of over 100 degrees, and midway through the second half the teams and spectators were sent to shelter when the first wave of lightning swept through the area. Armstrong Atlantic (0-0-1 and ranked #19) led at that point, 1-0, but when play resumed nearly 90 minutes later, the game quickly turned in Florida Southern’s favor.
Held to just one shot before the delay, the Moccasins (1-0-1) got five of them in the next 13 minutes, and Moore made the last one count. When Kerri-Ann Brown was fouled on a potential break-away (drawing a yellow card in the process) the Mocs were awarded a free kick at the top of the box and Moore was assigned the task. Even with most of the AASU lineup in the wall, the freshman midfielder lifted it over the top and curled an unstoppable shot into the lefthand side of the net for her first collegiate goal.
The goal by Moore came on the heels of her strong defensive effort in the season opener on Friday. In that game against Georgia College, she was part of the back line that held the Bobcats to only two second-half shots as the Moccasins rallied for a 2-1 win.
Once Sunday’s game went to overtime, the Pirates out-shot the Moccasins 3-0, but neither team could score before lightning stopped play for a second time. Due to NCAA rules regarding the time limit on games, it was unable to resume, leaving the score tied 1-1. The closest either team came to scoring was 40 seconds into the second overtime period when the Pirates’ Andye Dawson sent a perfect free kick into the box for Kelli Bahr, but FSC goalkeeper Martina Tangen Billing smothered the shot in front of the far post.
Armstrong Atlantic State controlled most of the first half with a 7-0 advantage in shots. Two of those were saved by Martina Tangen Billing, and one was a header by Bahr on a corner kick that went high. Defender Lexie Bottomley also blocked a strong shot by Morgan Mitchell at the top of the box early on that helped keep the game scoreless.
Bottomley was especially active in the back for Florida Southern. Two of her more notable plays came in the final 20 minutes of the half, when she first cleared a loose ball after Tangen Billing made a tough save, and then stopped a dangerous corner by the Pirates before it found an opening in the box. Morgan Sammons also made a big defensive stop for the Moccasins, shutting down an attack in the 23rd minute when she deflected a centering pass by Kristina Pascutti right in front of the net, with another Armstrong player behind her in prime scoring position.
As much pressure as Florida Southern was under for most of the first half, momentum seemed to shift in the final 10 minutes. The Mocs carried that into the second half, but it was still the Pirates who scored in the 59th minute. The play started in the midfield with Dawson, who pushed the ball up-field to Katie Jesser. She in turn sent the ball on to Erin Holt, who fed Pascutti in the box. Her shot back across the goal mouth slipped inside the right post, giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead.
The Moccasins earned their first shot shortly thereafter, an attempt by Jackie Bachteler that deflected off the back of a defender, but the Pirates turned away the ensuing corner kick. Not long after that, the field was cleared for nearly 90 minutes due to lightning in the area, and the break worked in Florida Southern’s favor.
Overall, the Pirates out-shot the Moccasins 13-6, and had a 12-6 advantage in corner kicks. For the most part, however, the defense held its own, and even got help from forward Adi Alvarado, who three times in the second half cleared an AASU corner kick out of the box with a leaping header.
Florida Southern will be on the road again next weekend when it takes on Thomas University (GA) on Friday, and the University of West Florida on Sunday.