DECATUR, Ga.—A furious second-half effort came up just short as the Scotties gave top USA South West program Piedmont a run for its money in a 3-1 loss. The Lions scored three times in 10 minutes in the middle of the first half, but Agnes Scott battled back to make things interesting at the tail end of the game.
The Scotties remain on a positive trajectory despite an overall mark of 0-9-1 and 0-2 record in the conference. Piedmont protects its unblemished record by improving to 8-0-2 and 2-0 respectively.
Agnes Scott surprised the Lions coming out of the gate with immediate push on the offensive end. Piedmont held a firm 18-1 shot advantage in the first meeting between the two sides two weeks ago, but Agnes was undeterred by the previous result.
Despite solid possession in the midfield, Piedmont was able to penetrate the Scottie defense with several close calls before finishing off a ball in the 24th minute. Jasmin Penado (Gainesville, Ga.) found space at the near post off of a corner kick and buried a header into the side of the net. Tori Gillett (Gainesville, Va.) and Madeline McCarthy (Flowery Branch, Ga.) combined for the assist on the play with a well-designed set piece.
The Lions were beneficiaries of fortune in the 33rd minute when the grass tripped up the approaching keeper leaving an open net for Courtney Bell (Ringgold, Ga.) to push the ball for the second goal of the game. Piedmont added another fewer than two minutes later on a miscommunication by the central defense on the home side. Cassie Kirk (Mims, Fla.) was left open on a give-and-go and tucked the ball into the left corner.
The Scotties were the stronger team pushing the tempo in the second half, which led to several opportunities from inside the 18. Nia Coates (Pooler, Ga.) nearly got the Scotties on the board with a ball that pinged off the crossbar and away from danger.
However, Agnes Scott ended a three-game scoring drought in the 85th minute when Caitlynn Croft (LaGrange, Ga.) sent a beautiful seam pass into the stride of Zoey Perchaluk (Fort Erie, Ont.). Perchaluk beat her mark and lofted a ball over Miranda McNalley (Atlanta, Ga.) for the lone strike of the game. It was Perchaluk's second of the season.
Both keepers made five stops on the day, but Piedmont's 8-6 advantage in on-target shots ended up as the difference. Agnes held an overall lead in attempts at 14-13 and 11-6 in the second half.
Perchaluk's goal was only the fifth scored again Piedmont in 10 games this season.
The Scotties will look to rebound with another home contest on Wednesday versus LaGrange (1-6, 0-2 USA South) beginning at 4 p.m.