Sept. 15, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia soccer team closed out its non-conference slate with a convincing 5-1 win over the College of Charleston Sunday afternoon at the UGA Soccer Stadium, with freshman Marion Crowder becoming the first UGA player to score four goals in a game since 2003.
Georgia snagged its seventh straight victory for just the second time in program history, as the Bulldogs improved to 7-1 on the season and dropped the Cougars to 2-6. Additionally, the 2013 team joins the 1999 and 2009 teams as the only three squads in UGA history to win seven games out of their first eight. Georgia continues to improve on its best start to a season under fourth-year head coach Steve Holeman, and the best overall since the 2009 group began 7-0-1.
The Bulldogs scored three of their five goals down a player, as freshman Lauren Tanner was assessed a red card in the 40th minute and was sent off.
"It was incredible to see the team set the tone like it did today," Holeman said. "Before the game we talked to the team about how we've been going into halftime too many times 0-0. We wanted to score early and we did. We never thought it would all happen a player down, but a two-goal lead helped. I felt like we did a fantastic job of keeping the ball and possessing, and keeping the ball on the ground. And we certainly improved on finishing our chances."
Georgia and the College of Charleston played 10 minutes of scoreless soccer before Crowder broke through for her first of the day, flicking one far post off a pass from Laura Eddy at close range. Eddy and freshman Rachel Garcia earned a double assist on the play, as Garcia fed Eddy, whose second pass set up Crowder's shot. Crowder pushed the Georgia lead to 2-0 with her second of the day and fourth of the season in the 21st minute, making good on another opportunity in the box as she finished on a through ball from Garcia.
At the half, the Bulldogs maintained the 2-0 lead and had out-shot the Cougars 15-4 through 45:00.
Crowder would tack on her third of the day and complete the hat trick in the 55th minute, as she received a pass up from Bella Hartley and had her shot deflected in off a College of Charleston defender to make the lead 3-0 - the first hat trick for a Georgia player since 2011.
Crowder was back for more in the 58th minute, collecting a loose ball after an Andie Fontanetta cross was misplayed by the keeper and fired it home. Georgia got its fifth goal in the 60th minute as Fontanetta lofted a corner kick service inside, where Garcia challenged her defender and Hartley was there to send in the loose ball to make it 5-0.
The Cougars were able to get on the board in the 78th minute, as leading scorer McCallie Jones made good on a penalty kick chance to snap Georgia's historic shutout streak at 652:37 - the second-longest such streak in program history behind only the 1999 squad that opened its season with eight straight shutouts. The Bulldogs still have not allowed a goal in the run of play this season after allowing the PK today and a corner kick and free kick goal to Texas in the season opener.
Georgia led in the shot column, 30-6, while Garcia finished with two assists and Eddy, Hartley, and Fontanetta each had one. Caitlin Woody picked up her seventh win of the year in goal for Georgia, making two saves. Crowder now leads the Bulldogs with six goals and one assist for 13 points.
Georgia will open Southeastern Conference play next Friday night, welcoming 18th-ranked South Carolina to the UGA Soccer Stadium for a 7 p.m. meeting. With an Arkansas loss today, the Gamecocks are the only remaining unbeaten team in the SEC at 7-0-1.