The Columbia College soccer team picked up a huge conference victory on the road on Saturday, taking down the Truett-McConnell Bears on their home field 1-0.
The Lady Bears entered the contest with a 5-0 AAC record and at the top of the standings, with some recent impressive victories over other title challenging teams. Columbia entered the game at 4-1 in the conference, looking to extend their conference win streak to five games after an opening day loss.
The match was an extremely tough battle for both teams, with the Lady Bears dominating posession but the Koalas counter-attacking dangerously, as both Ruby Hallam and Heather Blaszak went close with chances in the first half.
The second half brought more of the same, with the back line of Sarah DiPiazza, Bailey Lewter, and Hannah Fox, and goalkeeper Katherine Yahnke holding strong against a Bears offense who had scored 19 goals in their first five league games.
The breakthrough in the game at the 75' mark, and it was the result of one of the Koalas' counter-attacks that the goal was scored. A long punt from Yahnke was controlled by Blaszak who was then fouled from behind, setting up a Columbia free kick about forty yards from goal. Alexis Cesario played a dangerous ball into the box which bounced over the Bears goalkeeper, and after a scramble on the line involving Jaena Dominguez, Hallam was following up to sidefoot the ball home to give the Koalas the 1-0 lead.
The Bears would push for an equalizer for the rest of the game, with Columbia doing well to stem the flow of attacks with smart defensive play and angled counters. In the end, Columbia would hold strong as a unit and see out the game, moving both teams to 5-1 in the AAC.
In the match, Yahnke had eight saves to help deny the Bears potent attack, as she played all 90 minutes in goal.
Columbia returns to action on Wednesday, October 11th, as they travel to Montreat College for another AAC contest with a 6PM kickoff.