Georgia Soccer Falls Short In Opener

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Aug. 20, 2010

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ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia soccer team fired 21 shots to Duke's 14 but couldn't put one in the back of the net as the Bulldogs dropped their season opener, 1-0, to the 24th-ranked Blue Devils in front of 2,113 on a damp Friday evening at the UGA Soccer Stadium.

The Bulldogs drop to 0-1-0 but are still 11-2-2 all-time in the first game of the year.

"Duke is a great team and we saw that tonight," said first-year head coach Steve Holeman. "They will be in the NCAA Tournament and they are one of the top teams in the country. With 21 shots, you have to put one or two in the back of the net. We have to get a little better. We made one mistake and they capitalized."

The Blue Devils came out firing and immediately peppered Georgia keeper Ashley Baker with quick shots. After Baker stopped the first flurry, Duke got on the board in the 14th minute as Rebecca Allen sent a cross over from the left wing to an awaiting Molly Lester on the right edge of the box. Lester settled and fired home the shot into the bottom left corner to give the visiting Blue Devils the 1-0 advantage.

The squads battled evenly for the duration of the first half until Georgia freshman Alexa Newfield saw the Bulldogs' best look of the opening stanza when she struck a rocket from the top of the box but it sailed high.

The first half ended with Duke still guarding its 1-0 edge and shots locked at nine apiece.

Senior Marah Falle had a shot hit off the crossbar at the beginning of the second half, and the ball glanced out of bounds to thwart the Georgia chance. Baker came up big moments later when she stopped a point-blank Duke shot from well inside the 18 to keep it a one-goal differential.

With time waning in the second frame, the Bulldogs took control and kept the pressure on in search of the equalizer. Alex Hooker had two late crosses and Georgia even sent Baker into the mix at the end, but Duke held on for the 1-0 win despite Georgia controlling the run of play for the final 10 minutes.

Baker collected eight saves for the Bulldogs, while Duke's Tara Campbell stopped six shots. The Bulldogs also held the edge in corners, 8-5. Newfield led UGA with seven shots.

Georgia is now 2-4 all-time versus the Blue Devils.

The team is back in action next weekend when it hosts the annual Georgia Nike Invitational. Georgia will play Utah on Friday, Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. and Kansas on Sunday, Aug. 29 at 1:30. Sunday will also see a contest between the Utes and UNC Greensboro. Video and stats coverage will again be available on www.Georgiadogs.com.

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