There must have been mixed emotions swirling in both team huddles as the women of North Georgia prepared to take on West Georgia in Carrollton last night.
Newly minted West Georgia head coach Stacey Balaam could look down the line and see a North Georgia team packed with players she was responsible for recruiting over recent years during her tenure as assistant to North Georgia head coach Chris Adams.
And no doubt, the pressure was on Adams and those Nighthawks to make sure that Balaam’s coaching debut at West Georgia did not go well.
North Georgia jumped on the Wolves inside the first 20 minutes with a goal from sophomore Olivia Dumphy. But despite being outshot 9-2 in the first half, Balaam’s group managed to get to the break down just the one goal.
North Georgia freshman Taylor Malasek put another dagger in the Wolves in the opening minutes of the second half opening the score up to 2-0 for the visitors.
And that’s where it stayed until an exciting final 20 minutes looked like Balaam might just steal a comeback from her former boss.
In the 70th minute, West Georgia junior Alexis Lewis finally put her team on the board. And just as it looked like time was too short for a comeback, Wolves junior midfielder Katie Mitchell evened the score with a little over three minutes to play.
With that, the two teams marched to extra time.
Late in the second 10-minute overtime, North Georgia junior midfielder Asa Thorsen showed no respect for the poetry of the comeback or Balaam’s debut and sent everyone home with a golden goal in the 107th minute.
The win moves North Georgia to 1-1-1 on the season. They host Florida Tech on Sunday, September 10th in their next action.
Dropping the opener starts West Georgia off at 0-1. On Friday, the Wolves get their conference schedule started at home against Union University (Tenn.).