DAHLONEGA, GA. – Melissa Carlyle pushed across the Valkyries first goal of the season in the 17th minute of action, but North Georgia (1-0) scored six unanswered goals to down Converse (0-1) in both team's season openers on Thursday evening at the UNG Soccer Complex.
The Nighthawks threatened early in the contest, earning a corner kick in the 11th minute. However, the ensuing two shots on goal were steered away by Darian Bankston, preserving the scoreless tie. UNG's keeper was equal to the task as Cassidy Marshall fired two shots on goal for the Purple and Gold, but was unsuccessful on both attempts.
Carlyle then tore through the North Georgia defense, blasting the rock into the back of the net with 16:52 off the clock in the first, giving Converse the lead 1-0. UNG was able to knot the contest at 1-all in the 30th minute after a goal from Taylor Malasek. That score looked as if it would hold for the half, but North Georgia pushed across the go-ahead score with 43:48 on the clock to enter the locker room with the 2-1 advantage.
That lead grew to 4-1 as the Nighthawks posted two goal within the first 10 minutes of the second half. Carlyle looked as if she would cut the deficit in half in the 57th minute, but her shot was pushed away by Hannah Goudy. Goals in the 63rd and 82nd minute ballooned the lead to its final margin of 6-1 as the Converse offense was held scoreless the remainder of the game.
North Georgia outshot Converse by a margin of 36-6, including a 6-0 advantage in corner kicks. Marshall led the Vals with three shots, while Carlyle posted two shots. Devyn Plyler was able to contribute one shot on the evening. Bankston took the loss after allowing six goals and collecting 15 saves.
The Valkyries will return to the pitch on Tuesday, September 4, welcoming Shaw University to Hayden Abney Fulp Field for the 2018 home opener. Kickoff for that contest is scheduled for 5 p.m.