Chika Ibiam scored twice for Georgia on Saturday.
April 14, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia soccer team closed its spring season Saturday, defeating a host of former players by a score of 7-1 in the Bulldogs’ annual Alumni Game at the UGA Soccer Stadium. Madeline Barker and Chika Ibiam each scored two goals on the afternoon for Georgia, while Bailey Powell – a member of the most recent class of seniors – netted the only goal for the former group.
Georgia held its annual Golf 4 Kicks fundraiser yesterday at the UGA Golf Course and was headed to a team cookout after today’s game as it continued to celebrate Alumni Weekend.
“This alumni group was very talented,” said Georgia volunteer coach Jonathan Harvey, who today coached the 2012 Bulldogs to their lopsided victory. “You’ve got professional players, former All-SEC players – they are super talented. Today our ability to finish in front of the net helped us to the win.”
“The participation in this weekend gets bigger every year,” Harvey said. “We had over 35 players come back this year, and in the future we hope to have alumni playing against alumni and get more to come back. People are always excited to come back to Athens. It’s a great town and a great area to come back and see your old teammates.”
Georgia mounted an early lead as Ibiam put in her first goal of the day less than five minutes in as she followed up a loose ball after Meghan Gibbons’ initial shot was blocked. It became 2-0 with 31:42 remaining in the first half when Tori Cooper sent a looping pass up to Barker, who fed Nikki Hill a perfect cross and Hill sent it past former UGA keeper Beth Klueter – now an academic counselor for the Athletic Association.
The Bulldogs pushed their lead to 3-0 just two minutes later as Barker converted on an unassisted chance, turning and shooting into the bottom right corner. Jenna Buckley then continued the offensive flurry to make it 4-0 when she redirected a loose ball past Klueter into the back of the net with 24:41 left in the first.
With 17:01 to go, Rebekah Perry scored off a corner kick from long range, and it became 6-0 when Barker added her second of the day with a long carry up field to beat the last defender and the keeper with 3:14 to go before halftime, sending the 2012 Georgia squad into the intermission up comfortably.
At halftime, the teams switched goalkeepers, putting All-SEC keeper Ashley Baker in goal for the alumni team and a combination of Kleuter and Georgia redshirt freshman Kathleen Eastman working for the Bulldogs. The former players got their only goal of the day with 13:35 to go in the second half when Powell scored on a breakaway chance to make it 6-1.
But the Bulldogs added one more, as Ibiam tallied her second of the afternoon with 11:10 to play, following up a rebound off a Barker shot. Ibiam had another goal called back moments later as a foul was called just before her shot from inside the six.
“It was really good to be back,” said Joni Vickers, who finished her career in 2007 and coached the alumni side today. “This is my second time coming back for this, and it was great to see everyone and get us all back. I know most of us were out of shape and haven’t played in a while, but the point is that we all get along so well and to bridge different generations of Georgia Soccer is really cool.”
Georgia concludes the spring season with wins over Florida State, Clemson, UNC Charlotte, and taking the championship of the 7-v-7 tournament earlier this month.