Balzano’s Thriller Sends GC Soccer to PBC Title Match

Sophomore Cassie Balzano
Sophomore Cassie Balzano

EVANS, Ga. – An overtime goal from sophomore Cassie Balzano (Douglasville) kept the Cinderella run for No. 7-seed Georgia College Soccer (11-5-4) alive Friday night in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Semifinals. The Bobcats came from behind to beat No. 6-seed Young Harris College (6-9-1) 2-1 and advance to the PBC title match Sunday.

With 21.3 seconds left in the first overtime period, Balzano chipped a shot from the left side off the back post and rattled home for her sixth goal of the season. But, the Bobcats nearly didn't reach overtime.

Young Harris scored first in the first half, when Baylee Roche scored her eighth of the season in the 21st minute. The Mountain Lions held the 1-0 lead into the break and well beyond.

Freshman Alyssa Bergamini (West Suffield, Connecticut) finally knotted up the match in the 76th minute, collecting a loose ball in front and firing it home for the rookie's third goal of the season.

Senior Ashlee Graham (Decatur) made three saves for the win, as the Bobcats out-shot YHC 31-6.

Sunday will mark the second PBC Championship match in GC Soccer history, the first coming in 2013, when the Bobcats fell to Clayton State University in penalty kicks.

The Bobcats advance to take on No. 1-seed Columbus State University Sunday, Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. at Blanchard Woods Park.

The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup and the 2017 PBC Sportsmanship Institution of the Year, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.