Aug. 10, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia soccer team held its annual Red & Black intrasquad scrimmage Friday night at the UGA Soccer Stadium to unofficially kick off the 2012 season, with the Black team narrowly edging Red by a 1-0 score via a Meghan Gibbons goal in the third minute.
Playing two 40-minute halves on a warm night in Athens, Black got on the board early as Gibbons followed up two deflections by Georgia keeper Ashley Baker coming off a corner kick. She sent the loose-ball rebound into the back of the net for the 1-0 edge just 2:50 into the contest, and the early tally would eventually hold up.
"We're 10 days into preseason, and the girls are playing incredibly well," said third-year head coach Steve Holeman. "We've already come a long way. This was a great opportunity to see ourselves in a game environment. It was a pretty good crowd for a scrimmage and we got a nice trial run. We're looking forward to seven days from now when we take the field."
After playing relatively even for much of the first frame, Black had another chance with six minutes to go in the first after sophomore Tori Cooper flicked a header on a Gibbons set piece opportunity, but the shot went just over the goal.
Red's best chance at the equalizer in the first half came when right back Rebekah Perry sent a long clearance up field, and Black goalkeeper Caitlin Woody misjudged the bounce, but recovered in time to bat the ball off her line and out of danger to preserve the lead. Shots were even at 5-5 at the break.
With 28:30 on the clock in the second half, freshman Andie Fontanetta turned and fired one from 30 yards out for Red, but goalkeeper Callie Corbin Langford made a diving stop to keep the shutout rolling. Moments later, junior Madeline Barker worked herself free for a good look on the left wing, but Nikki Hill came up with a big defensive save for Red.
Barker had another chance on a breakaway with under five minutes to go, but goalkeeper Kathleen Eastman - in relief of Baker - came up with the stop to keep Red's deficit to one goal. Time would then expire with Black outshooting Red 13-9 and hanging on for the victory.
Goalkeepers Baker and Eastman combined for six saves in goal for Red - three each - while Woody and Langford made one apiece on the other end for Black in the combined shutout effort.
Playing with no subs on the night, the Georgia rookie class saw significant action in their first contest. Barker ended her night with six shots to lead all players, while Gibbons took three for Black. Red was led by two from Fontanetta.
The Bulldogs will continue training this week in preparation for the 2012 regular season opener a week from tonight, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. vs. UNC Greensboro at home.