Columbia pushes 1-1 tie with NGU

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Columbia College Koalas upped their unbeaten streak to two with a 1-1 tie in a physical battle at North Greenville University on Saturday afternoon. Columbia began the game on the front foot, with Senior Amber Tanner twice getiing close to opening the scoring from the right wing. North Greenville struggled to create quality opportunities in the first half, with each team taking only four shots in a heavily defensive battle.

In the second half, the Crusaders became the dominant team, firing shots from distance and controlling the majority of the play with no real end product. A defensive header off of a goal kick quickly turned into an attacking chance for North Greenville in the 83rd minute, however, and Alex Pagliaro made no mistake in scoring the home teams' first goal of the season. Similar to their last effort against Dalton State, however, Columbia would refuse to succumb without a battle, and they knotted it at one with just over three minutes remaining.

Junior Heather Blaszak caused the Crusaders defenders grief by running at them down the right side, and her cutback to the penalty spot was controlled and fired into the near post with her left foot by Senior Alexis Cesario to make it 1-1. Neither team was able to break the deadlock in overtime, with the Crusaders coming closest thanks to a long shot that Koalas senior Goalkeeper Katherine Yahnke tipped over the bar.

The foul count was 23-9 with the Crusaders picking up the majority of the infractions, but the Koalas were unfortunately unable to convert any of the free kicks into goals.

Columbia returns to action on Thursday, September 7th, when they travel to another in state rival, USC-Beaufort, for a 5PM kickoff.