Koalas battle to 2-2 tie with Roadrunners

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Columbia College Soccer team battled to a hard-fought 2-2 draw in double overtime with the visiting Dalton State Roadrunners on Wednesday evening in beautiful weather at Younts Soccer Stadium. Playing against the Roadrunners for the first time ever, the Koalas found themselves down just six minutes into the match after a defensive mix-up allowed Adriana Romera to poke a shot past goalkeeper Katherine Yahnke for a 1-0 lead.

Columbia would respond, however, with a goal of their own in the 15th minute of the game, with two seniors combining for the breakthrough. Alexis Cesario drove through the middle of midfield with the ball before finding Amber Tanner, who cut back across her defender and fired a shot in at the near post to make it 1-1. Dalton State then retook the lead just before the break, as Keyle Snyder managed to break the offside trap and blast a shot past Yahnke to make it 2-1 going into the interval.

Columbia scraped and clawed throughout the second half, refusing to go down easily, and their resistance paid dividends with just over two minutes remaining in the game as classmates again combined to find an equalizer. Junior Courtney Carrier found fellow junior Heather Blaszak outside the box, and she beat multiple players before her shot eventually ricocheted off a Roadrunner defender and found the corner of the net. It was Blaszak's first career goal for the Koalas after transferring in for her junior season.

Both overtime sessions were back and forth affairs, with the Roadrunners being denied by replacement senior goalkeeper Morgan McCray and the crossbar, before the Koalas went extremely close to winning the match through both Tanner and Carrier. Dalton State outshot the Koalas 28-13 in the match, though many of the Roadrunners efforts came from distance, with quality chances being evenly distributed between the two teams.

Columbia looks to build on the positive result against a quality team like Dalton State when they return to action this Saturday at 12:00 pm EST when they visit North Greenville University.