Sept. 29, 2013
LEXINGTON, Ky. --- The 19th-ranked Georgia soccer team saw its program-record nine-game winning streak come to an end Sunday night, as the Bulldogs suffered a 1-0 loss to No. 25/14 Kentucky at the UK Soccer Complex. The Wildcats got a 71st-minute goal from leading-scorer Stuart Pope and hung on, sending Georgia back to Athens with the weekend split.
The Bulldogs now sit at 9-2 (2-1) on the season after tonight's loss and a 1-0 win at Missouri on Friday night.
"We kind of figured coming into this one it was going to come down to one player making a special play, and credit Kentucky for doing that," said head coach Steve Holeman. "I felt like it was a pretty evenly matched game, and as expected, when they got that goal we had to push for an equalizer so the momentum changed. I thought we made some pretty good adjustments at halftime and had a bit of the momentum. We created some good chances, but just didn't finish them."
Georgia edged Kentucky in shots 14-11 in the loss, with Caitlin Woody making four saves in goal for Georgia and freshman Gabby Seiler firing five shots - including a couple late attempts to tie - to lead the Bulldogs in that category.
The first half ended how it began, with neither team finding the scoreboard through the first 45:00 and shots deadlocked at just 4-4. Georgia had a good chance over 11 minutes into the first frame when Laura Eddy worked herself free in the corner and sent a cross over to an awaiting Rachel Garcia, but the rookie's shot was blocked inside. With 12 minutes to play in the first, Seiler found a hole in the midfield and fired a shot just wide right, and with under 10 to go, Eddy dropped back from the corner and found Andie Fontanetta, but her offering at the goal sailed high, and the squads entered the locker rooms tied at 0-0 at the break.
Early in the second half, Marion Crowder had a good opportunity with a cross after the Wildcats failed to clear it out, but Garcia's resulting shot was blocked. Five minutes into the second, Seiler hit the crossbar on Georgia's best chance of the night, as the ball was trapped by the keeper under the bar and barely kept out. Two minutes later, Crowder had a shot sail just high as the teams continued to battle in a light rain.
Then in the 71st minute, Pope struck to give the home team the lead, firing barely inside the right post and out of the reach of a diving Woody. As Kentucky took the 1-0 lead late in the game, Georgia fell behind in a game for the first time since the season opener vs. Texas on Aug. 23, while was the first goal allowed by UGA in the run of play all season and only the fourth score overall by a Bulldog opponent.
Seiler had a shot blocked with under four to play, and the Bulldogs kept the pressure on in search of the equalizer. Just after, Eddy had a shot blocked and with under three to go Garcia's look at the goal went wide left. With the clock ticking down under a minute, Seiler had another shot deflected out and Barker won the rebound, but fired high and wide as Kentucky was able to eventually clear it down to the other end of the field and time expired on Georgia's second loss of the season and first in the team's last 10 outings.
Georgia is back in action next weekend, welcoming Alabama and Ole Miss to the UGA Soccer Stadium.