Sept. 13, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia soccer team used an 80th minute goal from freshman Marion Crowder to post a 1-0 win over Long Beach State on Friday night at the UGA Soccer Stadium - the Bulldogs' sixth straight win and sixth straight shutout.
Georgia improves to 6-1 on the season, good for the best start under head coach Steve Holeman and the best start for the program since the 2009 squad started at 7-0-1. The six-game winning streak is Georgia's longest since 2007, while the six straight shutouts is the longest such scoreless mark for the Bulldogs since 1999. Tonight Georgia moved its shutout streak to 574 minutes and 57 seconds, second-longest in program history behind only the 1999 team that posted eight consecutive shutouts to begin its season. The Bulldogs have not given up a goal since the season opener vs. Texas.
"What another great victory for us," Holeman said. "It would've been nice to get one in the first half to breathe a little easier, but we made a very good Long Beach State team look pretty average tonight. That is a result of us and our ability to keep the ball well and move the ball well. We had some nice combinations and had a lot of good chances. We do need to finish some more of opportunities and we will work on that. I loved the way we finished the game after we scored. We managed the clock well and I thought overall it was a fantastic effort."
Less than two minutes in, the senior forward Madeline Barker had a corner kick that set freshman Gabby Seiler up for an open look, but her shot hit the crossbar. Just moments later, senior Nicole Locandro had a shot slide just wide left as the Bulldogs set the tone early.
With the first-half clock hovering over 28 minutes to play, Rachel Garcia threaded one inside to Seiler, but her shot was wide.
Freshman Hannah Edwards had a shot go wide after another UGA corner just before halftime, and the teams went into the intermission still scoreless despite
The Bulldogs had three shots within the first minute of the second half and continued to control the run of play in search of the go-ahead. With 24 minutes left in the second, Caroline Waters served a perfect cross inside and Bria Washington's subsequent header hit the post, Georgia's second attempt off the woodwork on the night. As the Bulldogs continued threatening, freshman Lauren Tanner had a shot blocked inside with 10:20 to play, but that's when the game-winner came, as seconds later Crowder took a pass inside from Cara Smith and fired it bottom right corner past the keeper for the 1-0 lead, and it would be all Georgia needed to secure the victory. Smith and senior defender Nikki Hill - who took a far side throw-in to set up Smith's serve inside - earned assists on the play. It was the first career point for the redshirt freshman Smith.
Georgia ended the game leading in the shot column 22-4, with Crowder's second goal of the season and second game-winner all the Bulldogs needed to post the victory. Madeline Barker had five shots for Georgia to lead the way, followed by Seiler's four and three apiece for Garcia and Crowder. Caitlin Woody made the one save she was forced to, posting her sixth straight clean sheet.
Tonight the Bulldogs earned their first win all-time over LBSU, with the teams playing their inaugural contest.
The Bulldogs are home again on Sunday to take on the College of Charleston at 2 p.m. Live video coverage will be available on Georgiadogs.com.