--- The Georgia soccer team got two goals from junior forward Carrie Patterson,
who moved into a tie for first on Georgia’s all-time goals scored
list with 33, en route to a 2-0 victory over the host Tennessee Lady Volunteers
Friday night at the Regal Soccer Stadium. It is the first win at Tennessee in Georgia
history; the Bulldogs had been 0-6 in its previous trips to Knoxville.
The win concludes the regular season for Georgia, which
finished 9-9-1 overall with a 7-3-1 conference mark. The win clinched a top-four
seed for Georgia
in next week’s SEC Tournament.
“Our young ladies did a very nice job tonight and really
committed themselves to our game plan,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “We came
out strong and scored within seconds of the start which certainly helped. I
thought we defended well in all three areas of the field and transitioned well
into our attack.”
Patterson would score quickly in both halves to set the tone
for the Bulldogs.
Her first score came just 21 seconds into the game, the
second-fastest any Georgia
player has scored a goal, as she worked her Tennessee defender toward the end line. She
made a nice turn toward the middle of the field, where she then slid a shot
into the right side of the net to give Georgia a quick 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs continued to put the pressure on after that.
Although they weren’t able to break through for another goal, the Bulldogs sent
away five shots, three of which were on net. While the Bulldog offense was a
constant threat to the Tennessee backline, the
Georgia defense limited Tennessee’s scoring
opportunities in the first half. Tennessee
(8-10-1, 5-5-1 SEC) had two shots, none of which were on net.
started the second half much like it did the first. In the 52nd minute, the
Bulldogs got their second goal of the game off another Patterson score. Megan Tomlinson drew two defenders to the near side of the net, but then centered a
pass to Patterson, who went one-on-one with the Lady Vols’ keeper and scored
from 12-yards out to give Georgia
a 2-0 lead. That goal gave Patterson 33 in her career, tied for most in Bulldog
history with Mandy Aiken. She has scored three goals in Georgia’s last
two games and this was her first multi-goal game of the season.
It is also the second record for Patterson in as many games;
in Georgia’s previous game,
a 2-0 win against Alabama
last Sunday, Patterson earned three points to give her 80 in her career,
passing Aiken’s record of 78.
The Lady Vols would bring waves of attackers for the
remainder of the match, but the Georgia
defense wouldn’t allow Tennessee
to finish on any of its 10 shots in the second half. Michelle Betos earned her sixth
shutout in 2008, with five of those coming during the conference season – which
is a league-high. Overall, it is the fifth shutout in the past seven games for
“Tonight was a total team effort and the players are excited
about getting back to the .500 mark,” Baker said. “We are healthy, fit and
playing good soccer just at the right time of the season.”
After struggling at the onset of the 2008 season, the
Bulldogs have put together a good stretch of games during the SEC season. After
an 0-1-1 start to the SEC season, Georgia has gone 7-2 in its last
nine games and is playing better than it has all year.
“I think playing our nonconference schedule helped us
prepare for a good run through the conference season,” Tomlinson said. “The
team has come together at the end of the season and we are playing our best
soccer of the year. We have great momentum heading into the SEC Tournament.”
Up next, the Bulldogs will take part in the SEC Tournament,
beginning Wednesday in Orange Beach,
Ala. Seeds for the tournament
will be determined after the conclusion of Friday night’s games.