UGA advances to the second round for the first time since 2011

7 hours ago
Georgia athletics

Photo: Georgia Athletics

ATHENS – Two first-half goals propelled the seventh-seeded University of Georgia soccer team past Samford in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship Friday night before a crowd of 951 at the Turner Soccer Complex.

Friday’s win marked the first NCAA Tournament game hosted in Athens since 2007 and just the fourth in program history. It was also the Bulldogs’ first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2014. With the win, Georgia advanced to the second round for the first time since 2011.

“First of all, it was a great win,” Georgia head coach Keidane McAlpine said after the game. “Thank you all for being here. All credit to Samford and the fight they put in, especially in the second half. Made us a little nervous. I’m not going to lie, but credit goes to these women.”

“The goal when we came here was to have a night like this, was to get these seniors to the NCAAs and play at home and let these fans experience the NCAAs as well. I want to thank them. We had a great time. audience. It was awesome to have such many, especially with all the rain we’ve had today and tonight. Credit to them for helping us get through this game and I’m excited for this group to play another game.” Georgia (13-5-3, 5-3-2 SEC) and Samford (11-4-7, 5-1-3 SoCon) were tied in shots on the night with 14 apiece, but Samford had six shots on goal and Georgia . four. Rookie goalkeeper Jordan Brown made six saves in 90 minutes as she picked up her fifth shutout in seven starts.

Graduate forward Dani Murguia put Georgia on the board early with his team-leading eighth goal of the season. In the 10th minute, junior defender Madison Haugen got the ball to the top of the box and sent a cross that connected with Murguia’s header for the first goal of the night, making it three straight games.

Sophomore defenseman Jessie Dunn scored Georgia’s second goal of the night in the 38th minute, the first of her career. A ball that bounced off a Samford defender was sent to Dunn, who fired a shot into the goal over a leaping Samford goaltender to put the Bulldogs up 2-0. Mark Dunn made her the 16th Bulldog to score this season, tying the program record for most players to score in a season with the 1998 team.

In the second half, Samford went on an 11-4 run, but Brown’s play in the net and Georgia’s strong back line secured the penalty box.

Georgia will face the winner of the game between North Carolina and Old Dominion on Saturday next week in the second round. If BYU wins its first-round game tonight, Georgia’s second game will be played on Thursday.

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