Oct. 10, 2010
STARKVILLE, Miss. --- The No. 18 Georgia soccer team scored three goals for the sixth time season as the Bulldogs posted a 3-0 shutout over Mississippi State Sunday at the MSU Soccer Field in Starkville. The squad was paced by sophomore Laura Eddy, who scored a goal and added an assist for a three-point afternoon.
Georgia remains unbeaten in SEC play at 3-0-3 while moving to 8-2-4 overall. Mississippi State falls to 7-8-0 while still searching for their first league win at 0-6 in conference action. Georgia is now unbeaten in eight straight contests to mark the longest such streak in the conference.
"It was a great day. We obviously focused a lot on finishing which is something we knew we had to get better at," said head coach Steve Holeman. "It was nice to get a goal in the first five minutes and we were able to work a lot of players in and get a good result. We're happy to get this result on a hot Sunday afternoon on the road."
"We get the monkey off our back [offensively], which was important. We got some frustration out and to be able to get three goals on a day like today, we have some confidence moving forward."
The Dogs set the tone for the day very early on, as freshman Alexa Newfield scored her fourth goal of the season just 3:09 into the game to give Georgia the early 1-0 lead. Newfield took advantage of a beautiful service across from Eddy on the right, getting a head on it in the six and sending it past MSU keeper Skylar Rosson.
It became 2-0 in the 35th minute as Georgia capitalized on a hard-working series. The freshman tandem of Madeline Barker and Meghan Gibbons worked free on the left, with Gibbons sending a pass inside to Jamie Pollock. The junior chipped it over Rosson's head for her second goal of the year, with assists credited to the rookie duo.
That was it in the first half for both squads, with the Bulldogs holding onto the 2-0 lead at the intermission while leading 11-1 in the shot column. Georgia keeper Ashley Baker was tested just once through the first 45:00, coming up with the one save.
Georgia picked up the third of the day in the 58th minute as sophomore Eddy took full advantage of a position change today that saw her spend time on the front line. The sequence started with a crisp through-ball from freshman Nikki Hill on the right, finding Eddy in the box for a shot into the bottom right corner. It was Eddy's first of the season and second of her career, as the reigning SEC Freshman of the Year spent the majority of last season in the back. Hill's assist was her first point as a Bulldog.
"I found out this morning I would be playing a different position," Eddy said. "It was fun and I was excited. It's nice tot play a different position once in a while. I was just trying to help the team out, but it helped that they were sending in perfect balls."
Georgia continued to dominate the run of play in the second half and had its best chance at No. 4 when Gibbons dropped it back to Susannah Dennis for a hard shot that Rosson was able to catch up with. Gibbons set up Barker with a feed over on the left side but Barker just missed getting a foot on it.
As time ran out, Georgia owned the shot advantage, 26-6. Baker picked up a second-half save as she was forced to make just two on the day thanks to the prowess of the Bulldog defense. It was the seventh clean sheet of the year - and third straight - for Baker and the Dogs, who have still allowed just nine goals on the year.
Georgia was able to work in all of the field players who made the trip, making 10 substitutions.
The weekend ends 1-0-1 for Georgia, which played to a scoreless tie with Ole Miss on Friday.
Georgia remains perfect at 6-0 when scoring multiple goals in a game. The Bulldogs overcame a recent scoring drought as they had totaled just three goals in their previous five outings before today.
The Dogs continue their current five-game road swing next weekend in a crucial pair against two teams currently above them in the SEC East. Georgia will meet No. 15 South Carolina next Friday at 7 p.m. in Columbia, S.C., before heading to No. 6 Florida on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Gainesville, Fla. The Gators vs. Bulldogs will be showcased on CSS. Live audio, live stats, and the Soccer Live Blog will all be available next weekend.