Sept. 20, 2012
By Matthew Pearce, UGA Sports Communications
ATHENS, Ga. --- As the most precious commodity in soccer, goals can sometimes be hard to come by. Finding them had been a struggle for Georgia forward Meghan Gibbons.
Sunday afternoon against Arkansas, the junior from The Woodlands, Texas, found what she had been looking for, as Gibbons scored both of Georgia's goals in its 2-0 win over the Razorbacks, her first goals for the Bulldogs since scoring against Vanderbilt on Oct. 14, 2011.
Despite her scores, Gibbons said scoring isn't the most important thing for her.
"A win is a win for me if the team gets it," she said. "But I hadn't scored in a while so it was good for me to get them."
After a breakout freshman season during which she scored eight goals and recorded one assist for 17 points, Gibbons struggled for the same amount of production her sophomore campaign playing a less attacking role. But she still recorded the fourth-most points on the team with eight. Head coach Steve Holeman said that Gibbons' numbers from her first two campaigns prove she is an important contributor for the Bulldogs.
"She's certainly proven herself over the last couple of years that she can score goals," Holeman said. "Obviously she's scored a handful of goals her freshman and sophomore years. I think we have a handful of forwards who can score goals, but Meghan has proven she can do it."
Gibbons further proved herself as a goal scorer with her brace on Sunday. Her two goals were a response to Holeman's halftime team talk.
"We needed someone to step up and score goals for us and Meghan took it upon her shoulders," he said. "We talked to the team at halftime and basically said that someone needs to be a hero."
The Bulldogs had struggled to break through in their SEC opener against Vanderbilt despite creating several good opportunities. Gibbons said to get the goals took a weight off both her own and the team's collective shoulders.
"It's really good - sometimes it's just a mental block," Gibbons said "They hadn't come in a while so finally getting some goals was definitely helpful going into the weekend. I think that no matter who scored, everyone is encouraged. Now they've got to keep coming."
Georgia's goals came in the first five minutes of the second half, something that Holeman said was important in the Bulldogs' victory.
"The great part about scoring in the second half is that we came right back down and put another one in the back of the net," Holeman said. "A lot of teams after they score a goal have a tendency to let their guard down, that's when you're most vulnerable to get scored on. As opposed to taking our foot of the gas, we stepped on it and got a second goal so that's pretty good for us."
For Gibbons, just playing for Georgia is a fun experience, whether she is scoring goals or not. "I love it, I love to come out to practice and a lot of us come out here early just to practice shooting or free kicks," she said. "It's just a great team atmosphere."