COLUMBIA, S.C. – A steady attack by the Bryan women’s soccer team resulted in an overwhelming 4-1 decision over Columbia College in Saturday’s Appalachian Athletic Conference contest between the Lions and Koalas. In the outing, four separate Bryan players managed to get on the scoreboard, beginning with first-year midfielder and Athens, Tenn. native Arielle Hansford in the 21st-minute, followed by freshman midfielder and Franklin, Tenn. native Anna-Blair Fish in the 47th-minute, trailed by junior forward from Athens, Tenn. Makena Giles at 51:35, and lastly was sophomore forward from Pikeville, Tenn., Rylee Evans, who found the back of the net at 83:35. The scores by Hansford and Fish marked their first career goals as Lions while Giles notched her team-leading 10th goal, followed by Evans who now has scored on three occasions. Anna Sanders tallied Bryan’s only assist, as it came on Fish’s goal, moving Sanders’ assists total to three this season.
Of Columbia’s mere four total shots and two that fell on target through a complete 90 minutes of play, one was capitalized on early in the first half. The Koalas answered first with a goal just under nine minutes after opening kick-off, but it would be their only score of the day. Hansford netted the equalizer at 21:10, which led to an even 1-1 count at the break. It took just over three minutes into the second half for Sanders to find Fish for the game-winner at 47:37. Bryan’s offense dominated Columbia’s defense, outshooting the host school 10-1 in the latter period. Giles and Evans each took a turn extending the Lions’ lead until the final buzzer sounded, leaving Bryan with a commanding 4-1 victory.
Fayetteville, Tn. native and junior goalkeeper for the Lions, Caragan Treola, allowed only one goal and secured one save through nearly 84 minutes on the pitch before turning over duties to sophomore keeper McKenna Carson the final six minutes.
Having won three out their last four matches, the Lions will look to keep the momentum going, as they attempt a strong finish to regular-season play this month. Four conference trials stand between Bryan and the end of the regular-season, with three on the road and one at home. The Lions currently sit in 3rd in the AAC standings at 8-6 overall and 7-2 in conference play, trailing 2nd-place Tennessee Wesleyan University who’s 11-2 overall and 8-1 in the AAC. It’s Truett McConnell University (Ga.) that holds down the top spot with an 11-1 overall record and perfect 8-0 conference record. The No. 4 and 5 spots remain tight with Reinhardt University (Ga.) and Milligan College (Tn.) posting identical 6-2-1 marks in conference.
Tennessee Wesleyan hosts Bryan this week in a monumental AAC bout that can help either side lock-in positioning atop the conference standings. The Lions and Bulldogs face-off on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 3:30 p.m. in Athens, Tn.