Oct. 11, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. --- The Georgia soccer team endured a 110-minute battle with league rival Auburn, but the teams were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw after two overtimes Friday night at the AU Soccer Complex, moving Georgia to 9-4-1 (2-3-1) on the season with the team now headed for an open date on Sunday.
"We got an important point on the road tonight," said head coach Steve Holeman. "It's better than losing. This was a great game on a Friday night at Auburn, and it looked like a rivalry game. I thought this was one of the most physical matches we've been involved in this year. In the first half, I give the edge to Auburn, but after that we were the better team. We had some great chances, but their keeper made some great saves, and at the end of the day it could've gone either way. This is not a bad result."
Auburn came away with the edge in shots in the first half, out-shooting Georgia 6-2 through the first 45:00 of action on the Plains. The Bulldogs did have their chances, including with 19 minutes to play in the first half when freshman Rachel Garcia headed on a Laura Eddy free kick service, but the shot went wide of the frame. Senior Madeline Barker had a good chance as her left-footed shot was blocked inside following a good passing sequence for the Bulldogs with 13 minutes on the clock. Eddy had another free kick from near the same spot as the first as the clock neared 11 minutes to go in the first, and that time the rookie Gabby Seiler headed one on, but it also went wide and the teams entered the locker room knotted at 0-0.
Early in the second half, freshman defender Emma Sonnett had a hard shot blocked following a corner kick for Georgia, and with 20 minutes to play in the half, Barker followed up a free kick with a shot that went wide right as the Bulldogs continued to pressure Auburn for the go-ahead goal. With 12 minutes to play in regulation, Eddy served the ball inside to Cara Smith, whose low driven ball was saved by the keeper Alycen Wright.
With five to go, Barker nearly found the scoreboard as her shot to the bottom right corner appeared to creep inside the post, but the keeper roped it in and it was ruled not to have crossed over the line as the teams remained tied with time winding down, and were soon headed for overtime in Auburn.
The Bulldogs didn't have much to speak of in the first extra period, but in the second OT Georgia keeper Caitlin Woody sent a long ball up field, where senior Nicole Locandro was stationed, but she was whistled offside to thwart the chance for the visitors. With four minutes to play the Bulldogs had another good look when freshman Marion Crowder took the ball toward the goal, and was tripped up but no foul was called. Crowder had another strong chance when she was served the ball and nearly beat her defender on the edge, but was again tripped up, and that would prove to be Georgia's final opportunity as the whistle blew with neither team able to find the scoreboard on the night.
The Tigers ended barely leading in the shot column, 11-10, with Woody grabbing four saves for Georgia. Her ninth shutout of the season moved the senior into a tie for first all-time at UGA for blank sheets in a single season.
After Sunday's open date, the Bulldogs will return to action next weekend at home, hosting Mississippi State and Texas A&M on Friday and Sunday, respectively. The match-up vs. the Aggies will be televised nationally on ESPNU at 3 p.m.