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GAC's Barker scores game-winner for UGA

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Georgia soccer team came away with a 1-0 win over UNC-Greensboro on the road on a hot Sunday afternoon at the UNCG Soccer Stadium, getting the game-winner from Greater Atlanta Christian grad Madeline Barker in the second half.

The senior's goal gave the Bulldogs their fifth straight victory and fifth straight shutout.

The Bulldogs pick up the weekend sweep with Sunday’s win as well as Friday night’s overtime victory over Jacksonville at home to improve to 5-1 on the season, while UNCG falls to 4-2. It was the second game-winning goal of the season for Barker, whose three goals and seven points lead the team.

“It was a grind,” said UGA head coach Steve Holeman. “I’ll tell you what, this is a big, big win for us on the road on a Sunday afternoon in the heat against a very well organized UNCG team. They did a fantastic job of limiting our quality chances, and for us to come out of here with a win is just fantastic.”

The Bulldogs had their looks in the first half but the teams played to a scoreless opening 45:00 with Georgia outshooting the Spartans 12-2.

Coming out of halftime, freshman Rachel Garcia of GAC had a shot go wide, and classmate Marion Crowder had one of her own saved just moments later. The Bulldogs continued to pressure UNCG in search of the go-ahead goal as the second half waged on, and in the 58th minute it happened when Barker collected a loose ball inside and fired bottom left corner past the keeper on Georgia’s 17th shot of the afternoon.

The Bulldogs nearly had their second goal of the day when sophomore Bria Washington placed a perfect Caroline Waters cross just barely wide on the header, and with 11:30 to play in regulation freshman Kelsey Nix had her own header saved off a Georgia free kick. UNCG finished with only five shots on the afternoon to Georgia’s 26 as the Bulldogs hung on to bring the 1-0 victory back to Athens.

Georgia has now posted five shutouts in a row for the first time since 1999, while the current five-game winning streak is the Bulldogs’ longest since 2011. Georgia is off to its best start to a season since the 2009 squad began 7-0-1. Including today’s shutout, the Bulldogs have now kept opponents off the board for just under 485 minutes.