Sept. 12, 2010
PALO ALTO, Calif. --- After a scoreless first half, the 23rd-ranked Georgia soccer team took No. 9 Santa Clara to overtime and earned a tough 1-1 tie Sunday afternoon at Cagan Stadium in the Stanford Nike Invitational.
The Bulldogs (4-2-1) finished their West Coast weekend 0-1-1 after Friday night's 2-1 overtime heartbreaker against No. 2 Stanford. Today's game ends Georgia's four-game road trip which concludes 2-1-1.
Santa Clara scored in the 63rd minute before Jamie Pollock netted the tying goal for Georgia with just nine minutes on the clock. Regulation ended 1-1 and the teams were unable to decide it in two overtimes.
"We were able to claw our way back to a 1-1 draw against a great Santa Clara team," said head coach Steve Holeman. "We were able to get a bit of a result this weekend. I think we had chances to win both of these games and this weekend prepared us for conference play. There aren't too many weekends that will be as tough as this one, so we're learning from it."
Santa Clara had its first big scoring chance about 20 minutes into the game when they had consecutive shots get blocked and bounce off the post. Moments later Rebekah Perry was assessed a yellow card and the Broncos set the free kick in from the left flag, where it was met with a hard shot that Baker corralled.
Georgia's biggest chance in the first frame came with about 15 minutes remaining as Susannah Dennis got a foot on a loose ball following a Bailey Powell free kick, but the shot was blocked by a defender. Alexa Newfield followed, but it was roped in by Bianca Henninger to end the Georgia threat.
Possession was even with neither team gaining an advantage through the first 45:00 and it ended where it began entering halftime. At the break Georgia held a slim lead in shots, 10-9. Keeper Ashley Baker finished the first half with two saves.
Georgia started out on the defensive end in the second half with Santa Clara using a few early runs to challenge Baker. The Broncos finally broke though in the 63rd minute when Anessa Patterson got her chest on a cross from Jenny Laponte over on the left wing, sending it past Baker for the 1-0 lead. Santa Clara was in control over the next 15 minutes, peppering Baker with shots and keeping possession in their offensive third.
Despite limited opportunities in the second half, Georgia found the equalizer in the 81st minute when Kelli Corless sent a high arc into the box. An awaiting Pollock got her head on it and sent it into the bottom left corner past the keeper to knot it at one with nine to play. It was Pollock's first of the season, and only the Bulldogs' third shot of the second half to that point.
Georgia took control late and challenged for the go-ahead down to the wire, including a Corless rocket with under 10 seconds to go. But the shot went wide left and the Bulldogs were headed to their second straight overtime and third of the season after not playing one all of last season.
Regulation ended with the Broncos in front in shots, 23-16.
With under two minutes to play in the second overtime, Dennis fed Barker with a through-ball on the right, and the freshman sent it through the middle but the defense was able to clear it. Santa Clara countered and with 10 seconds to play the Broncos fired a shot at Baker but the sophomore pulled it in as time expired with the score still tied.
By game's end Santa Clara had fired 29 shots and Georgia 19. Baker came away with 10 saves, just one off the career-high 11 she had Friday. Newfield led the Bulldogs with six shots, and Pollock had three including the squad's lone goal of the day.
"Kelli Corless sent a ball in to me and it kind of curved in," Pollock said of her goal. "It was a 50-50 head ball so I jumped up and it went in. It feels good, but it wasn't enough to get us the `W.' I think if anything we've now been tested against the best. We're prepared for the SEC and we need to keep our effort up."
Next on the schedule for the Bulldogs is a meeting with the College of Charleston next Fri., Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. as the team returns home for the first time since Aug. 29.