Head coach Keidane McAlpine earned his 200th career victory as the 22nd-ranked University of Georgia soccer team defeated Missouri, 2-1, Sunday evening before 441 spectators at Audrey J. Walton Soccer Stadium.
Georgia (5-2-3, 1-1-1 SEC) and Missouri (5-3-2, 1-2-0 SEC) tied with eight shots apiece, with the Tigers leading in shots on frame by a 7-6 margin. Graduate midfielder Croix Bethune led the Bulldogs with two shots, while six other Bulldogs tallied a shot. Sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Brown tied her career high with six saves.
The action began early for the Bulldogs as Bethune drew a yellow card from Tigers goalkeeper Bella Hollenbach, setting up redshirt senior midfielder Nicole Vernis to convert the penalty kick in the eighth minute, her second make of the season. Vernis has now posted a point in each of Georgia’s past four matches and in six of the previous seven. Following the penalty, a red card was issued to Missouri assistant Andy Stoots.
Georgia continued to press in the early going, resulting in another scoring opportunity in the 19th minute. After a shot from junior forward Olivia Briede was blocked by Hollenbach, redshirt freshman midfielder Summer Denigan alertly deposited the ball for a 2-0 advantage and her second score of the season. The lead remained at two until the 32nd minute when a Briede foul set up a Missouri free kick, resulting in Kylee Simmons heading in the kick from Milena Fischer to cut the deficit in half.
Missouri ratcheted up the pressure to begin the second half, forcing two impressive saves from Brown in the first 15 minutes of play. In the 68th minute, the Tigers again earned a free kick, with Brown rising up to reject the high shot. The Georgia attack remained at bay for most of the second half, with only three shots in the period. However, Brown’s terrific play and the Bulldogs’ back line maintained the victory.
Georgia returns home this weekend as it hosts Vanderbilt on Friday, Sept. 29 at the Turner Soccer Complex. Admission is free for all spectators and the match will stream live on SEC Network+.
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