Georgia’s Katie Ralys and Tennessee’s Amy Thompson were briefly tangled up late in the second half. It appeared a player’s cleat inadvertently got stuck in the other player’s shoelaces.
Much like Ralys and Thompson, the Georgia and Tennessee soccer teams were stuck on Friday night in Athens. Neither team could summon a goal through 90 minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of extra time.
The 0-0 tie marks Georgia’s sixth consecutive game without a goal. The game improved the unranked Bulldogs’ SEC record to 1-4-2.
Georgia was lucky to survive the second half unscathed.
With a few seconds remaining in regulation, Tennessee’s Erin Gilroy had the ball close to the right post. Not a single Georgia player could have stopped the forward from tapping it in. In heartbreaking fashion for the Volunteers, Gilroy sent the ball to the right of the goal rather than towards the back of the net.
Instead of a 1-0 lead with about 20 seconds remaining in the game, Tennessee was left pondering what could have been.
Georgia, meanwhile, was happy the ball didn’t go in.
“Grateful, grateful,” freshman goalkeeper Emory Wegener said. “I mean when it’s that close, you’re just hoping for it to get kicked out. I think [Caroline Chipman] and Kayla [Bruster] and them did a really job tracking back and getting those balls out.”
Wegener guarded the goal exceptionally well. She had nine saves.
“That was a fun game,” she said. “Those are the games I like. I’d rather be all over the place than sitting.”
Georgia’s offense didn’t look spectacular. Sophomore forward Reagan Glisson was forced to shoot from long range multiple times in the first half. When Georgia successfully landed a cross, it would fumble the ball away.
“I wished we would have put one away [in the first half],” head coach Billy Lesesne said. “I mean, it would have changed the tempo of the game for us, obviously.”
Moments of the Match
90’: In soccer, goals aren't easy to come by. That’s why it’s important for an offense to convert the opportunities they have. Gilroy had about as great an opportunity as she could have asked for late in the second half. But the Volunteers’ forward squandered it, allowing the game to go to overtime.
61’: Tennessee’s Katie Cousins, a first team All-SEC and third team All-America in 2017, possessed the ball with her right foot in the penalty box. As three Bulldogs were suffocating her, the midfielder made a sharp move to her left and created free space to shoot.
Her ground shot was quick, but Wegener didn’t have to move. The save was Wegener’s third of the night.
73’: Wegener had to work harder for her fourth save. Tennessee midfielder Amy Thompson had an impressive shot, but Wegener dove to her left, barely covering enough ground to make the save.
If not a true victory, Friday’s draw against Tennessee was certainly a moral one for Georgia.
Its final three games are against unranked teams. Kentucky and Alabama trail Georgia in the SEC standings. The team's last true test will come in its next game at Florida on Oct. 18.