Aug 25, 2013
HOUSTON --- The Georgia soccer team posted a 2-0 win over Houston on Sunday afternoon at the Carl Lewis International Complex, with a pair of first half goals from senior Nikki Hill and freshman Rachel Garcia making the difference.
The Bulldogs return home from their tour of the Lone Star State with weekend the split, starting the 2013 season with a record of 1-1 as they were able to avenge Friday night's 2-0 loss to Texas. Houston also sits at 1-1 to start the year after today's loss.
Defensively, Georgia limited Houston to just one shot, which didn't come until the 89th minute. It marks just the fifth time in program history a Bulldog opponent has been held to one shot in a game. Georgia has twice kept an opponent from taking a shot and nearly did so Sunday.
"It feels great," said head coach Steve Holeman. "We challenged the team to respond from Friday night's loss and we came on the road against a good Houston team. Our team did incredibly well - it was nice to get the two goals in there and our defense did a phenomenal job holding them to one shot. We certainly wanted to come in here and get on the board today. We know we have some dangerous weapons. This is a good road win and it was a pretty complete game for us."
Georgia had a good look at the goal just seconds into the game when sophomore Andie Fontanetta got a head on one in front, but the keeper was able to break it up. Freshman Gabby Seiler then had a good long-range left-footed shot with 10 minutes gone by that was saved, setting up a Bulldog corner that was covered up by the Houston defense.
The Bulldogs broke through the scoreless tie in the 24th minute when Hill tallied UGA's first goal of the season and the third of her career, sending a free kick into danger that bounced past the keeper to give Georgia the 1-0 lead. The rookie Garcia was there to finish up but didn't have to, as Hill's service made its way in on its own to give the Bulldogs the early advantage on the road.
Georgia added its second goal less than a minute before halftime on a play that started when the senior Madeline Barker freed up Gabby Seiler for a shot in front. Seiler's chance bounced back out to an awaiting Garcia to send it in, and she didn't miss, tallying her first career score to lift Georgia in front 2-0 heading into the break.
At intermission, UGA led in the shot column by a count of 10-0, holding Houston without a good scoring opportunity through the first 45:00.
The Bulldogs opened the second half on a tear, seeing several early chances including a good look for the freshman forward Bria Washington, whose flick off a rolling ball in front sailed just wide of the frame and was controlled by the keeper six minutes in. Moments later, Seiler had a strong shot batted down by the keeper, and Seiler continued her strong afternoon with a good run inside and a pass back to Laura Eddy, whose shot went just high as the clock approached 22:30 to go.
A good sideline run for Marion Crowder opened up the freshman for a shot on the right side, but her offering went high with 11 minutes to play. Crowder had a cross over to Barker with nine minutes to play, but the senior's header was stopped nearing nine minutes on the clock. Georgia continued to pressure but couldn't find the net again, as the final shot tally ended 27-1 in UGA's favor and Houston mustering that shot with under two minutes to go in desperation from well outside on the left.
Seiler and Barker paced Georgia with five shots each on the day, while Seiler had the assist on Garcia's goal. The Bulldogs also had five corners to UH's one. A pair of Houston keepers in Sydney George and Cami Koski combined to make 10 stops in goal.
Georgia is now 2-0 all-time vs. the Cougars.
The Bulldogs will open the home schedule next weekend vs. Mercer and Furman on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Live video coverage will be available for both games on Georgiadogs.com.