CHARLESTON, S.C. – Senior forward Mollie Belisle’s 10th goal of the season powered the University of Georgia soccer team to a 1-0 win over College of Charleston Sunday afternoon at Ralph Lundy Field at Patriots Point.
In its first road match of the regular season, Georgia (7-1-0) closed out its non-conference slate with its best start since opening the 2013 season at 7-1-0. The Bulldogs outshot the Cougars (1-6-1), 19-4, besting their opponent for the seventh time this season, while also posting a 12-1 advantage in shots on frame. Georgia also dominated in corner kicks by a 6-1 margin.
Belisle led the Bulldogs in shots (six) for the third-consecutive match, while also topping the team with a season-high five shots on goal. Freshman forward Danielle Lewin followed close behind with four shots, including three on target.
On the defensive end, the Georgia backline nearly held its opponent to zero corner kicks for the second-straight match, allowing a lone kick early in the second half. In net, senior goalkeeper Emory Wegener posted one save to earn her third shutout of the season and 16 for her career.
“This is a great way to wrap up our pre-SEC season,” said Georgia head coach Billy Lesesne following the match. “To come out of this part of the season at 7-1, to get a tough road win under our belt against a good Charleston team, I think it says a lot for the team’s continued growth. We didn’t cash in on as many scoring opportunities today, but we finished one and kept the score where we needed it to be. I’m proud of our team getting the shutout and the win, and we’re preparing now for Auburn on Friday night.”
In the first half, Georgia founds itself with plenty of opportunities, outshooting College of Charleston, 12-1, but six saves from Cougar goalkeeper Meredith Holton kept the scoreboard empty. The scoreless first half marked the first opening half without a score this season for the Bulldogs.
As they have for much of the season, the Bulldogs increased the intensity to open the second half, although the aggressiveness led to two quick offsides. Soon after, the Bulldogs broke through as senior midfielder Dani Murguia intercepted a Charleston pass and found a wide-open Belisle, who connected from just outside the 18 to tally her 10th goal of the season. Belisle’s goal moved her back into first place nationally and made her the first Bulldog to score double-digit goals since Marion Crowder in 2013.
Belisle continued to seek another score, as did Lewin for her first, but Holton’s solid play maintained a one-goal margin for the Cougars. After a strong scoring chance for Lewin was stifled in the 82nd minute, the Bulldogs were able to control possession in the closing moments and earn the hard-fought victory.
Georgia now turns its attention to the opening of Southeastern Conference play, beginning with a road test at No. 10 Auburn on Friday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. EDT. The match will be streamed live on SEC Network+. Last season, Auburn defeated Georgia in three meetings, including a 2-1 double overtime victory in the SEC Tournament.
For complete information on Georgia soccer, follow the team on its social media channels via @UGASoccer on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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