The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

UGA advances to second round for first time since 2011

130 days ago
Georgia Athletics
Photo: Georgia Athletics

ATHENS - Two goals in the first half fueled the seventh-seeded University of Georgia soccer team past Samford in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship Friday evening before 951 spectators at the Turner Soccer Complex.

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

"First of all, this was a great win," Georgia head coach Keidane McAlpine said following the match. "Thank you to everybody for being here. All credit goes 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 got here was to have a night like this, was to get these seniors to the NCAAs, and to play at home and allow these fans to experience the NCAA's as well. I want to thank them. We had a great crowd. It was awesome to have this many people, especially given all the rain we've had today and tonight. Credit to them to help us get through this game, and I'm excited that this group gets to play another game." Georgia (13-5-3, 5-3-2 SEC) and Samford (11-4-7, 5-1-3 SoCon) tied in shots on the night with 14 apiece, while Samford tallied six shots on goal to Georgia's four. Freshman keeper Jordan Brown posted six saves in the 90 minutes as she earned her fifth shutout in seven starts.

Graduate forward Dani Murguia put Georgia on the board early with her team-leading eighth goal of the season. In the 10th minute, junior defender Madison Haugen brought the ball to the top of the box and sent a pass that connected with Murguia's head for the first goal of the night, giving her a score in three consecutive matches.

Sophomore defender Jessie Dunn tallied Georgia's second goal of the night in the 38th minute, the first goal of her career. A rebounded ball off a Samford defender was sent to Dunn, who lobbed a shot to the top of the goal over a leaping Samford keeper to put the Bulldogs ahead, 2-0. Dunn's goal 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 made a final charge with an 11-4 shot advantage, but Brown's play in net and the stout Georgia backline secured the shutout.

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