Lions move on to GSC finals

The Lions defeated West Georgia 5-0 in their Gulf South Conference semi-final match Nov. 2 in Pensacola to move on to their second straight finals appearance.

UNA’s seniors lead the way early with Jo Chubb and Chloe Roberts scoring a goal each to put the Lions up 2-0 at the break. 

Chloe Roberts assisted Jo Chubb’s fourth goal of the season in the second minute of the match before connecting on a cross from Nikki Brown in the 33rd minute to put the Lions up by a pair. Roberts’ goal was her 16th of the season.

Nikki Brown netted UNA’s  third goal shortly after the restart when she found herself one-on-one with West Georgia’s goalkeeper and lobbed it over her head and into the goal.

Showing the bridge between veterans and newcomers, freshman Chloe Richards scored off of a cross from Roberts halfway through the second half.  Richards had looked threatening throughout much of the first half.

With seconds left in the game and the final result all but sealed, Julia Osmond cleaned up a scramble in the box after a UNA corner kick to put the total at five goals for the Lions.

The 2-2 draw earlier in the season at West Georgia had come on the heels of a tough game two nights previous against Valdosta State. 

Head Coach Graham Winkworth explained that the result on Nov. 2 was different.

“Earlier in the season when we faced them we out shot them 8-2 in the first half,” Winkworth said.  “We just ran out of gas in the second half.”

The Lions face West Florida Nov. 4 in the GSC Final.

West Florida is ranked No. 2 in Division II.  UNA lost 4-1 at home to West Florida earlier in the season but Winkworth said the matchup in the final should be different.

“In the first meeting we had enough chances to win,” Winkworth said.  “We just need to clean up our mistakes  in the penalty area.

“If we bring the energy that we have played with for the last three or four games we should have a good chance to win.”