BATON ROUGE, La. – With a dramatic goal in the last minute of overtime, the University of Georgia football team beat No. 5 LSU, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon in front of 1,234 spectators at LSU Football Stadium.
With just 45 seconds left in the first overtime period, defended graduate Kayla Bruster stole the ball and passed it past forward Mollie Belisle for the game-winning score, her 12th of the season leading the nation. The goal sealed Georgia’s first victory over a top-five opponent since a 2-1 victory over No.4 Texas A&M on September 27, 2015.
“It’s not an easy place to play, a great team to play against, and our kids fought for over 90 minutes,” Georgia head coach Billy Lesesne said after the game. “I’m just incredibly proud of their work ethic and what they’ve won at the end of this game is something we can hopefully build on. Incredibly proud of this group.”
LSU (8-2-0, 1-2-0 SEC) dominated Georgia (8-2-1, 1-1-1 SEC), 23-17, making Sunday the first win of the season in which the Bulldogs were dominated. Senior midfielder Dani Murguia led the Bulldogs with five shots, while Belisle and senior midfielder Abby Boyan each scored four. In goal, senior goaltender Emory Wegener set a new career high with 10 saves.
In the opening moments, Georgia found themselves with some great chances, but a pair of shots from Murguia and Boyan got high. The Bulldogs would soon rise on the board as Boyan fouled a tackle in the box, leading to Murguia’s second penalty of the season in the 13th minute. Later in the half, Bruster helped stop an LSU scoring chance as she narrowly cleared a Tigers cross inside the six.
LSU quickly found their equalizer, taking advantage of Georgia’s first yellow card of the season, calling in freshman midfielder Morgan Hart. After the initial free kick was stopped on a diving save by Wegener, Tigers forward Rammie Noel struck into the deflection in the 29th minute. The Tigers nearly added another score before half-time, but a diving save from Wegener helped keep the gap.
At the start of the second half, Murguia nearly scored another goal as she blocked the LSU keeper’s clearance, but she couldn’t convert after being tackled in the box. On the possession of Tiger that followed, Wegener continued his solid game with a leaping rejection on a long away strike from the 18. In the 55th minute, second-year forward Madison Haugen got two stunning looks, but solid play from the LSU defense kept the game tied.
Belisle also missed two scoring opportunities, kicking high on an empty net and narrowly missing the net with a header from a corner kick. In the 66th minute, senior midfielder Bella Ponzi got Georgia’s second yellow card of the game, but LSU’s free kick was unsuccessful. Two minutes later, the Tigers almost took the lead with a shot right at the right post.
In the 82nd minute, LSU looked to move forward with a free kick, but a pair of critical saves from Wegener helped them land their new personal best. The tight appeal streak continued for Georgia as Murguia and junior forward Mallie McKenzie both faced open stares down the home stretch as the teams headed into extra time.
Overtime was generally quiet until the dying moments as Bruster dispossessed an LSU player and sent the ball past Belisle, who dropped the match winner into the left corner of the net with just 45 seconds left in the game. the period.
Georgia is heading home next weekend as it hosts Arkansas on Sunday, October 3 at 1 p.m. at the Turner Soccer Complex. Admission is free for all spectators and the match will be broadcast on ESPNU.
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