Oct. 4, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. - Senior Molly Atherton scored just 1:16 into the first overtime to lift the Alabama soccer team to a stunning 3-2 victory at Georgia on Friday night.
Junior forwards Pia Rijsdijk and Dani Herubin each added a goal and assist, as the Crimson Tide claimed its third consecutive victory in Southeastern Conference play. Alabama improves to 5-6 overall and 3-1 in the conference.
Atherton's game-winner came at the 91:16 mark of the match when Herubin sent a long cross to the far post. Atherton leaped over the Georgia defender and drilled a header into the low corner for her second goal of the season and fifth career game-winner.
Georgia (9-3, 2-2 SEC) came into the match with ranked No. 20 in the nation by Soccer Times, No. 24 by Soccer America and boasted a stellar RPI of No. 17 in the nation. However, it was the Crimson Tide who was the aggressor from the beginning, never trailing throughout the contest.
Herubin got things going on the offensive end for the Tide in the 44th minute, as she netted her first goal of the year off a cross from Rijsdijk to give Alabama a 1-0 lead going into the locker room.
Georgia would tie the game at the 57:51 mark on a goal from Nicole Locandro. But Rijsdijk answered in the 70th minute when she scored her fourth goal in three games by finishing a loose ball rebound in front of the Bulldog goal to put Alabama back on top.
It looked as if Alabama was on its way to a victory in regulation, but the Bulldogs scored with just over two minutes remaining when Madeline Barker beat UA goalkeeper Emily Rusk to even things at 2-2, essentially sending the game into extra time.
Alabama took the opening kickoff in overtime and scored before Georgia even had a chance to possess the ball, sending the team into a wild celebration.
Rusk, who entered the match leading the SEC in saves per game, finished with four stops on the night to improve to 5-4 as the Tide's starting goalkeeper.
Alabama began the year with two wins in its first eight matches, scoring just four goals. However, the Crimson Tide has reeled off three straight wins, outscoring the opposition by a combined total of 12-6.
The Crimson Tide will return to action on Sunday when it hosts LSU at 1 p.m. CT at the Alabama Soccer Complex.
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