Lady Pirates Soccer Squad Brings Home Dual Peach Belt Conference Titles
The Armstrong Atlantic State University women’s soccer team has pulled off a remarkable feat in 2011, capturing not only the Peach Belt Conference regular season championship, but with a thrilling last-minute goal in the 2011 Peach Belt Conference tournament championship match on Sunday, also winning the 2011 Peach Belt Conference Tournament championship.
Junior Nadima Skeff's goal with 12 seconds remaining earned the top-seeded Pirates the title with a 1-0 victory over rival Columbus State at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans, Ga.
The double - regular season and tournament championship in the same season - is a remarkable accomplishment for a program that began in 2005 is a solid home record of 23-3, amassed over the first three years and, since 2008, a perfect streak at home through the end of the 2011 regular season. Eric Faulconer, head coach for the Lady Pirates, has seen to that from the inaugural season.
“I think every program wants to create a home field advantage and when I came here, I wanted to make it a priority to create a tough environment for visiting teams to play in," Faulconer said. The atmosphere includes everything from the pre-game music to the PA announcer to the flying of the skull and crossbones Pirate flags.
"Probably the best idea we came up with is playing the He's a Pirate song from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies after each goal we score." Faulconer said. "It gets our players really pumped to hear it and I have been told by visiting coaches that every time they hear that song they think of Armstrong soccer."
That home field advantage that buoys not only the Lady Pirates soccer, but the rest of the Pirate sports, has led to a remarkable season this year in which four teams – soccer, volleyball and women’s and men’s tennis – are enjoying the best ever streak at home. An accomplishment not lost on the coaches.
"Savannah has a strong soccer community and its support since day one has been great," Faulconer said. "The local clubs really come out and support our team and it is especially nice to see a lot of young soccer players in the crowd at our games. We currently have five local players on our team and many of their former coaches and teammates are very supportive and still come out to watch them play as well."
So, congratulations to the Lady Pirates for their remarkable success thus far this season. And on behalf of all Armstrong student-athletes and coaches, a big shoutout goes to all the fans who support Armstrong Athletics.