Oct. 12, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- Auburn's goal with six minutes remaining was the difference as the Tigers defeated Georgia 1-0 Friday night at the UGA Soccer Stadium. The Bulldogs are now 6-8-2 (2-5-2) heading into Sunday afternoon's home finale against Kentucky.
The squads played 84 minutes of scoreless soccer in front of 1,612 fans before AU's Tatiana Coleman capitalized on a Bulldog turnover, carrying it back into danger and firing a shot from 25 yards out into the lower left corner to give the visitors the 1-0 lead. Georgia pressured late for the equalizer, but the Tigers held up throughout the last six minutes to earn the one-goal road victory.
"I thought it was a great match," said head coach Steve Holeman. "Auburn is a very good team. We both had our chances, and to be honest I think this game could've been 3-2 and gone either way. Their keeper came up with some great saves and so did Ashley Baker. At the end of the day they had a player step up and make a big play when it mattered. It's not fun walking out of here with the 1-0 loss, but I think we can keep our heads held high. The girls battled. They've done everything we've asked of them and as tough as it is to put this loss behind us, we'll try to learn from it, get better, and regroup."
After a scoreless first half, Auburn owned the slim 9-8 lead in shots with neither side able to find the back of the net through the first 45:00.
Coming out of halftime, Georgia defender Torri Allen continued her standout season by capturing her second defensive save of the year when she cleared an Auburn chance off the line just a minute into the second frame.
Seven minutes into the second, Georgia had its best chance of the night when Tori Cooper's shot from the left side hit the left post before bouncing to an open Andie Fontanetta in front, and Fontanetta's left-footed offering ricocheted off the right post and out as the Bulldogs' bad luck with posts and crossbars in 2012 continued and the teams remained even.
The Bulldogs were gaining momentum with the clock approaching 15 to play and the teams still 0-0, when Carli Shultis had a good run up the right side only to have her shot go wide left.
Then with six minutes to play, Coleman and the Tigers struck, as the forward intercepted an errant Georgia pass in the middle and carried it over the right side, firing from 25 out past Baker.
The Bulldogs had a chance with three to play in regulation as defender Nikki Hill moved upfield and fired one into the box, where Cooper's shot was blocked by the defense, and Susannah Dennis' follow-up was also blocked.
With under a minute left, Meghan Gibbons fired a cross inside to Hill, but her shot was high. And with 10 seconds to play Georgia had one final effort as Madeline Barker raced in to fire one, but it went over the goal as the Tigers held on for the road win.
Baker ended with nine saves for Georgia, weathering 23 AU shots on the night. Coleman's eight shots led all players, while Cooper (5) and Barker (4) paced the Bulldogs. Georgia's 20-shot output marked the fifth time this season the team has fired 20-plus attempts in a contest.
Tonight was Georgia's ninth one-goal game of the year.
The Bulldogs will gear up for Sunday's regular-season home finale as Georgia takes on Kentucky at 2 p.m. for Senior Day. Georgiadogs.com will offer live video coverage.