Soccer Remains Undefeated, Downs ULM 5-0

ATHENS – Starting the season with three straight shutouts for the first time since 1999, the University of Georgia women's soccer team (3-0-0) blanked Louisiana-Monroe (0-3-0) 5-0 at the UGA Soccer Complex on Wednesday night. Ali Williams, who tallied her fourth goal in three games, netted a pair of goals for the Lady Bulldogs and goal keeper Lauren Church kept the opposition scoreless for the sixth straight half.

"This was a tough midweek game," said head coach Patrick Baker. "We talked a lot about creating our own chances and doing some certain things but unfortunately we didn't do that. A great individual effort by Ali (Williams) to get another goal in the final five minutes of the half sent us into the locker room at 1-0 to give a little bit of a cushion. At halftime we had to really challenge the girls, it seemed as though Louisiana-Monroe wanted it more. We challenged them to do the little things and really put their will back into the game."

With 3:59 left in the first half, Williams maneuvered a quick turn after taking a pass from Caitlin Dingle inside the Lady Indians' penalty box and snuck a shot in to give Georgia a 1-0 lead.

"I'm getting more comfortable for sure," said Williams. "But I still feel like I need to finish more. I had a lot more chances that I didn't finish on. I don't know if I'll every be 100% happy with my effort unless I finish every opportunity."

In the second half, the Bulldogs notched their second goal after a Louisiana-Monroe defender was called for an incidental hand ball in the penalty box, giving Georgia a penalty kick. Seconds later, junior transfer Sarah Brown, who played her first minutes in the center midfield for the Georgia, took advantage of the opportunity and slid the PK past ULM's goalkeeper. It was Brown's first goal wearing the red and black and the seventh of her career.

"It was a fun, intense game," said Brown. "I have never played center midfield before so it was a bit confusing at first but exciting at the same time. I think this team can do some great things, but we still have a long way to go. This was the most I've played since the spring. I'm still kind of searching around and trying to find my place on this team, find where I fit. Once I found my groove, it was a lot of fun."

"I think once we got the PK and that two-goal separation we started to relax and do some quality things," said Baker. "And it was great that Sarah could step up and get her first goal."

Georgia gave itself some extra cushion at the 29:31 mark of the second half. Following a cross from junior outside midfielder Courtni Joyner, Williams drilled an unbalanced header past Lady Indian goalkeeper Rachel Marcom to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead.

"We've been working so much on getting around the outside and getting to the end line," said Joyner. "With my speed its something that is fairly easy in a sense, once I get the great balls my teammates play to me. Once I get those balls on the outside I have a lot of teammates in the box looking to put it away. It's really a collective effort."

Georgia's fourth goal of the night came off the foot of freshman midfielder Kathleen Howe. After a cross into the box, the ball came off the leg of Brown to Howe, who buried it in the back of the net. The Bulldogs' fifth goal came from sophomore midfielder Joni Vickers as she hit her first of the year off of a perfect cross into the box from junior defender Lena Franklin.

"It was great to see Kathleen and Joni get their first goals of the season," said Baker. "That's really something that we have to do. We don't have that All-American attacker or central midfielder to score a whole bunch of goals for us. We need to get production from all parts of the field."

The Bulldogs' will be back in action Friday, Sept. 2, at 7 p.m. as they host the College of Charleston under the lights at the Georgia Soccer Complex on South Milledge Avenue. GXtra, Georgia's premium subscription website, will carry a broadcast of the game with play-by-play commentary from Jeremy Ransom and color analysis by Brandon Ancil.

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