Columbus – The Columbus State women's soccer team got on the board early in the first half before adding a pair of insurance goals in the final 45 minutes of action to shutout USC Aiken 3-0 Saturday afternoon in a Peach Belt Conference matchup at the Walden Soccer Complex.
CSU improves to 12-3-2 on the year and 6-2-1 in the PBC while Aiken falls 4-10 overall and 1-7 in coference play.
After a USC Aiken foul just past midfield, Ashton Ziadie received the quick restart up the right sideline and played the ball into the box. The Aiken backline tried to catch Columbus State napping with an offsides trap but were unsuccessful as Jackie Ellis broke through with a perfectly timed run. Ellis was in the box all alone with the goalie and was easily able to slide it past the visiting goalkeeper just 6:29 into the match for a 1-0 advantage.
Stephanie Lowery broke out of her scoreless funk in the 54th minute of action as she showed her All-American talent. The senior received a ball about 25 yards out in the middle of the pitch and dribbled by three defenders before knocking home her eighth goal of the year to the bottom right corner of the net.
Jaci Carithers closed out the scoring for Columbus State with arguably the goal of the year thus far. Kelsey Pelletier dropped a ball off to Carithers who was racing in and hit a perfect curling blast to the right upper-ninety. It was her third goal of the year.
Earning the win for the Lady Cougars was Mary Mancin as she played the first 77:44 of the contest making a pair of saves. Katlin Stephens finished out the match but didn't face a shot. Alli Edens played the entire game for USC Aiken surrendering three goals while picking up seven saves.
Columbus State outshot the Pacers 26-2 and held an 11-0 advantage in corner kicks for the match. The Lady Cougars were whistled for eight fouls while USCA committed six.
With the win, CSU clinched a first round home contest in the upcoming Peach Belt Conference Tournament. Columbus State entered the day in a tie for third place with Lander who is currently down to North Georgia 2-0 in the second half. The first round PBC Tournament games will be on the site of the top four seeds with the winning squads heading to Evans, Georgia to play at Blanchard Woods Park.
The Lady Cougars are back in action Wednesday night when they host Montevallo in their regular season finale. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at the Walden Soccer Complex.