April 6, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- The 2013 edition of the Georgia soccer team posted a 6-4 win over a delegation of program alumni Saturday morning at the UGA Soccer Stadium, running its spring season record to 2-1 with three exhibition dates left on the schedule.
Georgia took on the alumni side as part of the annual Alumni Weekend festivities that began yesterday. The squad held its annual Golf 4 Kicks fundraiser Friday at the UGA Golf Course, while today included the scrimmage, a team barbecue at the complex, and dinner in Athens. A total of 23 former players came back, ranging from the 1998 to the 2012 senior classes.
Rising senior Madeline Barker led the Bulldogs on the afternoon with two goals and an assist.
“This is a great reflection on the program seeing so many players come back,” said head coach Steve Holeman. “We had a fantastic turnout and it was a lot of fun. At the same time, we wanted to use today as a chance to get better. I think our team moved the ball well, and our focus had been to work on our speed of play. We moved the ball quickly, created some good opportunities, and our possession was very good, so I am happy.”
“For me, the biggest thing is that I spent the best five years of my life here, and coming back is special,” said Andrea Velasco (’03). “It’s an awesome day. And to be able to see the future of Georgia soccer in action is great for us.”
The 2013 Bulldogs got on the board first, as rising senior Nikki Hill cleaned up a cross in front from Barker to give Georgia the 1-0 lead seven minutes into the game. But the Alumni evened things in a hurry as 2012 program graduate Susannah Dennis blasted one home from close range just a minute later to tie it at 1-1, and it remained there at halftime despite a 15-5 shot advantage for the current squad.
The Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead 15 minutes into the second half as rising sophomore Andie Fontanetta scored on a pass from Meghan Gibbons. But once again the Alumni tied the game quickly, as Megan Tomlinson (’08) made it 2-2 less than a minute later.
Rising senior Alexa Newfield gave Georgia the lead back at 3-2 as she fired one that hit a defender and deflected in with 25 to play, and the Bulldogs took a 4-2 lead on a goal for Barker with the assist going to Fontanetta with under 23:00 on the clock. Rising senior Chika Ibiam pushed the lead to 5-2 as she scored from close range with eight minutes remaining, completing Georgia’s three-goal blitz.
The Alumni squad cut the deficit to 5-3 as Randi-Lynn Bruso (’06) put in a corner kick service, but Barker scored her second of the game with under a minute to play, making it 6-3 as she lofted one over the keeper’s head from 35 yards out on the right side. The Alumni added a fourth goal just before the final buzzer that was also credited to Tomlinson.
Georgia is next in action this Tues., April 9, taking on Georgia State at 7 p.m. at the Rockdale Youth Soccer Association (RYSA) fields in Conyers, Ga.