Oct. 20, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia soccer team overcame one deficit but couldn't do so a second time, falling by a 2-1 score to 24th-ranked Texas A&M in front of an ESPNU national audience on Sunday afternoon at the UGA Soccer Stadium.
The loss dropped Georgia to 10-5-1 (3-4-1) on the season, while Texas A&M improves to 7-1-0 and stays atop the Southeastern Conference standings with three regular season games to play.
"We're definitely disappointed with the result," said head coach Steve Holeman. "We did some really good things today, and we showed that we can play on a Sunday and that we can keep the ball against a very good team. We had a lot of momentum heading to halftime after we equalized, and we came out in the second half and continued to possess and control the run of play. We had a fantastic opportunity to go up 2-1, and less than five minutes later they countered and got a goal themselves. That really took the wind out of our sails. I was disappointed that we couldn't respond when we went down 2-1, and the game really changed at that point. It turned into a slow match and we weren't able to create many opportunities after that."
Texas A&M struck first with a sixth-minute goal as Allie Bailey fed Liz Keester, and the freshman converted to the bottom corner past Caitlin Woody for her seventh goal of the season, giving the Aggies the early 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs overcame the slow start as the second half wore on, generating quality scoring chances and eventually breaking through with the equalizer in the 40th minute, as Andie Fontanetta threaded one through for Emma Sonnett, who stayed onside and fired it home to tie the game at 1-1, which is where it stayed at halftime in Athens. It was the first of the season for the sophomore defender Sonnett, and just the second of her Bulldog career.
Through 45:00, Georgia held a lead in the shot column, 6-4, while the Bulldogs owned the better part of the possession down the stretch.
Senior Madeline Barker had a chance to net the go-ahead goal early in the second frame, but her left-footed shot was blocked inside, and moments later the Bulldogs had their best chance at a second goal when freshman Marion Crowder sent a corner kick inside, and both Nicole Locandro and Sonnett had shots blocked. Locandro's was stopped inside by a defender on the near side, before the loose ball rolled to Sonnett - whose close-range attempt was also deflected out of danger and cleared away from inside the six in front of the far post.
Crowder - Georgia's leading scorer - nearly was off to the races on a breakaway later in the half, using her speed to beat a Texas A&M defender and with two more to her right, but the ball was barely poked away from her before she could get another touch on it toward the goal.
Woody did her part to preserve the 1-1 tie in the second half, and after she was beat out of goal on a Texas A&M breakway, jumped back to her feet to make a one-handed stop from close range. But in the 64th minute the Aggies were able to take the 2-1 lead against the run of play, as an initial shot by Keester was saved by Woody and Bailey was there to clean it up, sending the loose ball into the back of the net to give the visitors the lead.
The Bulldogs continued to fight for their second come-from-behind goal of the day, but it never came, as Texas A&M walked away with the three SEC points. In all, the Aggies led 15-12 in shots, with Woody making five saves for Georgia. It amounts to a split weekend for the Bulldogs, who rolled over Mississippi State 5-0 here on Friday night. Georgia is now 0-2 all-time against TAMU in the short series history.
The Bulldogs are back in action next weekend as they travel to meet LSU and Arkansas on the road. Georgia will play its regular-season finale the following week as Florida comes to town on Thurs., Oct 31 at 6:30 p.m. That game will serve as Senior Night.