Black Mountain, NC - Despite the setback of being 2-1 down just after halftime, the Columbia College Koalas fought back to top the Montreat Cavaliers 4-2 in AAC action on Wednesday evening to move to 6-1 in the AAC and 6-5-2 overall.
The Koalas entered the match near the top of the standings but knew they'd be in for a battle with a hard working and talented Montreat squad. The scoring began in the 24th minute, after a corner was played in by Alexis Cesario, Bailey Lewter controlled the ball and shot towards goal. The shot rebounded down off of the crossbar, but Amber Tanner was there to volley the rebound into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
The Cavaliers would respond with a goal of their own five minutes later, before adding a second just one minute after halftime that seemed to ignite the Koalas into action. With four minutes gone in the second half, Caitlin McDonald controlled a loose ball and sent one over the top for Tanner to run onto, and she dribbled in before slotting past the keeper to make it 2-2.
Columbia grabbed the eventual game winner in the 55th minute, when Cesario was again involved, playing the ball down the line for Heather Blazsak to run onto. The junior managed to get past a defender before closing in on the goalkeeper, and sliding the ball past her with her left foot to make it 3-2.
Tanner would then complete her hat-trick in the 62nd minute, and it was probably the best goal of the three to round out the scoring. Hannah Fox stepped in front of an attacker and won the ball before passing it down the line to Tanner, who cut back inside her defender and sent a shot into the top right hand corner to make it 4-2 to the Koalas. The game would be back and forth in the last 25 minutes, with both teams feeling the effects of the heat coming up off the turf field.
In the match, the Koalas outshot the Cavaliers 36-8, with Montreat's goalkeepers performing extremely well, combining for 20 total saves.
Columbia plays again this coming Saturday at 12:00 pm EST as they travel to defending regular season Conference Champions Reinhardt University.