Sept. 27, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. --- The 19th-ranked Georgia soccer team got a 60th-minute goal from freshman Marion Crowder - her eighth of the season - and five highlight reel saves from senior keeper Caitlin Woody to secure a 1-0 road win over Missouri Friday night at Walton Soccer Stadium.
The win improved the Bulldogs to 9-1 on the season and 2-0 to start Southeastern Conference play - the first time Georgia has begun SEC play with two wins since 2007 and the first time in program history Georgia has begun conference play with two straight shutouts. Georgia's current nine-game winning streak builds on the team's all-time record. Missouri - which was an NCAA Tournament team in 2012 - falls to 5-5 (1-1) with the loss.
"Wins in the SEC are tough to come by, and road wins are especially tough to come by," said head coach Steve Holeman. "It's another huge win for this team. Often times you talk about team wins and team effort, but you have to talk about Caitlin Woody. She played phenomenal and had some big saves for us that helped us win the game. For the first 30 minutes we looked pretty good and I thought we were going to get a couple. We limited Missouri to a low number of shots, but the chances they had were quality, and in the second half it was a back and forth game. Once we got our goal, they put us under some pressure and switched their system so we had to adjust and grind this one out."
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the shot column, including a great look when senior Madeline Barker beat her defender and fired a cross inside to an awaiting Rachel Garcia in the center, but the rookie's one-touch shot was saved nearly 15 minutes in. The half continued with a similar tone, as the Bulldogs finished the first 45:00 leading 11-3 in shots but with nothing to show for it. Woody - who now ranks tied for third all-time for shutouts in a single season at UGA - made two spectacular first-half stops including one that required her to regain her positioning and dive for a shot after being beaten out of goal with under four to play in the opening frame.
Missouri came out firing to start the second half, putting pressure on the Bulldog defense, but Crowder was able to break through for Georgia 15 minutes into the second half after receiving a perfect header from Garcia and staying just onside before finishing her 1-v-1 opportunity into the bottom left corner. It was the team-leading eighth of the season for Crowder, who tonight moved into second all-time in Georgia history for goals by a freshman. The Mississippi native has now scored in four straight games.
Garcia and freshman defender Summer Burnett - whose clearance from the back line set up Garcia's flick - were given assists on the play. It was the first career point for Burnett.
Woody continued her stellar play late in the second half, and when time expired on the 1-0 UGA win it marked the first time this season the Tigers had been shut out and just the second time in the their last 20 games dating back to last season.
Georgia tonight evened its brief record vs. the Tigers to 1-1. The Bulldogs ended with a 16-12 lead in shots, while the Tigers led 9-8 in corner kicks.
Tonight's win ties Georgia with the 2007 squad for the best start through 10 games.
Georgia is back in action on Sunday at No. 25 Kentucky, a 6 p.m. kickoff that will be televised regionally on CSS and online at ESPN3.com.