Locandro Propels Georgia Soccer Over CofC

Sept. 17, 2010

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ATHENS, Ga. --- Freshman Nicole Locandro was involved in all three goals, scoring the first and assisting the next two in the Georgia soccer team's 3-1 victory over the College of Charleston Friday night at the UGA Soccer Stadium. The win lifts Georgia to 5-2-1 on the year and 3-1 at home in its final non-conference tune-up.

The No. 21 Bulldogs overcame a sluggish first half to put three on the board after halftime, while allowing the Cougar's lone goal with just 17 seconds to play in the game.

C of C falls to 3-5-0 with tonight's setback.

"We started off slow, but once we got that one goal, it gave us momentum," Locandro said. "Hopefully this won't become a trend of ours to have to wait for that first goal. We're getting contributions from everyone, not just one player."

Georgia did not fire a shot until 16 minutes into the game when defender Bailey Powell unloaded on one from around midfield that sailed high over the net and set up a College of Charleston goal kick.

The Georgia defense came up big late in the first half, as C of C had numbers upfield but the backline collapsed to prevent the Cougars from taking advantage on the play with about five to go.

With 3:46 to go in the first half, senior Christy Barrow fed a beautiful through-ball inside to Meghan Gibbons. Gibbons collided with the goalie after firing off a quick shot, and was assessed a caution on the play.

Nearing the end of the first 45:00, Alex Hooker sent a perfect cross over from the left wing and Locandro got a head on it, but it sailed high on what was the Bulldogs' best chance of the opening period to that point. With just 10 ticks left on the clock, Locandro flicked a backwards ball to Gibbons but the rookie's shot was roped in by Cougar goalkeeper Katie Tate. After the slow start, the Bulldogs came alive at the end of the first half to go into the locker room with a 6-3 lead in the shot column but the scoreboard still reading 0-0.

The Bulldogs continued to fire after the break, as Traci Dreesen sent a one-timer in from right outside the 18 that hit the crossbar and led to a Georgia corner kick. On the ensuing set piece, corner specialist Kelli Corless curled the ball in and it hit the near post before Tate could corral it and stop the Bulldog threat.

Miller helped keep the pressure on and with the clock reading 37:20 sent a cross over the goal mouth to freshman Madeline Barker, but Barker's attempt at a tip just missed, capping off a run of four Georgia shots in the first eight minutes of the second half.

Nearly 20 minutes into the second, Locandro finally broke the tie. The play started when Susannah Dennis controlled it in the middle and sent a pass to Carli Shultis on the right wing. Shultis found an open Locandro in front, and the freshman tapped it into the bottom left corner to give UGA the 1-0 lead in the 64th minute of action, grabbing her fifth goal of the season. Assists were credited to both Dennis and Shultis.

Gibbons was the next to score, adding her team-best sixth of the year and the eventual game-winner when she was fed by Locandro just past the line of defense and the keeper. Gibbons tapped it into an open net to put Georgia up 2-0 in the 85th minute.

Nearly four minutes later it was 3-0 after Locandro set up Hooker for a left-footed ball that she curved inside the near post and out of Tate's reach for her second of the year with just 1:20 to play.

It stayed there until with just 17 seconds left Georgia keeper Ashley Baker gambled and found herself out of the goal before C of C's Maryam Buazza crossed it inside to an awaiting Sarah Schaidle. Schaidle tallied her fifth of the season and cut it to 3-1 to break up the Dogs' bid for their third shutout of the season just before the final horn.

The Bulldogs improve to 4-0 all-time against the Cougars, and are now 18-0-1 against Southern Conference foes.

Georgia continued its reputation as a second-half team, scoring all three after halftime tonight. The Bulldogs have now scored 16 of their 21 goals in either the second half or overtime periods.

Georgia freshmen are responsible for 13 of 21 scores.

At the end of the night the Bulldogs outshot Charleston by a count of 20-8, while Baker saved five. Georgia three corners on the night and allowed just one.

"Credit Charleston - they had a great gameplan and put us under pressure," said head coach Steve Holeman. "We made some adjustments in the second half and I think our depth paid off. We wore them down a little bit and created some opportunities."

"We have to find a way to start off games a little better. That is something we need to change before we enter SEC play. Our freshmen have been tremendous. They have scored more than half our goals this year. This freshman class has been very, very good for us."

NOTES: Senior Christy Barrow played 32 minutes in her second appearance as a Bulldog. Barrow transferred to Georgia this season after playing two seasons at the College of Charleston. ... Tonight was the third annual "Futbol Fiesta" promotion out at Soccer City, UGA, featuring a half-time burrito-eating contest. ... Georgia opened a five-game homestand tonight and will open SEC play next weekend, welcoming LSU and Arkansas to Athens next Friday and Sunday, Sept. 24 and 26. The Bulldogs have a rare Sunday off-date this week.

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