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UGA stops Arkansas penalty kicks to advance

2801 days ago
Sean Cartell | SEC

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. -- Georgia redshirt freshman goalkeeper Morgan Orobello saw her first collegiate action in one of her team's biggest moments of the season. Orobello stopped two Arkansas penalty kicks Monday to help her eighth-seeded Bulldogs advance past ninth-seeded Arkansas, 1-1 (4-3 PKs) in the Southeastern Conference Tournament at the Orange Beach SportsPlex.

The Bulldogs (10-6-2) led 1-0 in the match before Arkansas tied the score in the 89th minute. After two scoreless overtime periods, the final result came down to penalty kicks. It was Georgia's most experienced player - sixth-year senior Laura Eddy - who provided the deciding penalty kick - and a goalkeeper with no collegiate experience, Orobello, who came up with two big stops. The pair combined to make the difference for the Bulldogs.

"Mo stood tall," Georgia head coach Steve Holeman said of Orobello's performance. "What a special moment for her. She was emotional at the very end. If you're only throughout the season going to get a little bit of time, why not make the best of it?"

The Bulldogs first got on the board in the 67th minute when Rachel Garcia scored her fifth goal of the season off the cross bar and into the net. Arkansas' Erika Miller launched in the match-tying goal in the 89th minute to extend the match.

Georgia held a slight edge in shots 15-14, including a 5-4 edge in shots on goal.

"It was great to advance and I'm just proud of the girls and the way they fought," Holeman said. "Obviously, credit Arkansas for getting back into it with under two minutes to go. They've done that throughout the season and we tried to hold on. It was a good battle and we knew it would be."

Georgia advances to face top-seeded Texas A&M at 5 p.m. CT on Wednesday in a match televised by the SEC Network.

Arkansas was eliminated from the SEC Tournament and is 8-6-6 on the year.

"It was a good match," Arkansas head coach Colby Hale said. "There were some chances both ways. They've got some good players, but we liked our game plan; I thought we executed it very well. We had chances to win, so we're pleased with the effort. You're never pleased with the tie, you want to win. I thought we played to win, but at the same time, I'm proud of the effort."