Garcia Drills Two Goals En Route to Bulldogs’ 4-2 Victory Over Georgia Southern
Statesboro, Ga. – Mariana Garcia scored two goals on five shots to record her ninth and tenth goals of the season as the The Citadel women's soccer team downed Georgia Southern 4-2 in a hard fought Southern Conference battle on Sunday.
The win improves the Bulldogs' record to 4-8-1 overall and 2-3-1 in the SoCon.
Georgia Southern (6-4-4, 2-3-1) struck first in the game on a penalty shot goal by Courtney Collins in the 23rd minute to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead early in the match.
It took 17 minutes for the Bulldog's to strike back and even the game at one goal apiece before the half when Garcia took a pass from Nicholle Griffith and drove a 20-yard left-footed laser into the back of the net for her team leading ninth goal of the season and 26th of her career. The assist was Griffith's first of her career.
The Citadel opened up the score in the second half when Nicole Levermann fired a shot off a pass from Jillian Meyer in the 67th minute to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead. The goal was Levermann's 12th of her career moving her into seventh place all-time in program history, while Meyer recorded her third career assist and first of the season.
Four minutes later Garcia posted what would prove to be the gamewinner, the 11th of her career and second of the season, on a rebounded shot taken from Jannel Johnson that Garcia was able to put past Eagle goalkeeper Katie Merson.
The second goal for Garcia gave her four points on the day, moving her into sole possession of first place in Citadel history with 59 career points.
Johnson would close out the Bulldogs' scoring spree in the final minutes when she dribbled a pass across midfield and fired a laser from 25 yards out to give her team a commanding 4-2 lead.
The win is the Bulldogs' fourth against Georgia Southern to improve its all-time record in the series to 4-8 which is the most against any conference foe.
With her two goals in today's match Garcia is now just two goals shy of tying the program's all-time career record of 28 set by Kelly Pesterfield in 2003. Her four shots on goal give her 88 during her three-year career, six shy of The Citadel's all-time leader.
Johnson's three shots give her a team-leading 45 on the season and move her into 15th place all-time in career shots in just her first season.
Sarah Katchen played another gem between the posts, racking up seven saves to leave the junior with a conference-leading 73 on the season and improve her record to 4-8-1 on the year.
"The game was rough and a good fight but at the end of the day we came out with the big win," said Bulldog midfielder Ruth Leiva.
The Bulldogs will host their final two home conference games of the season next weekend when they take on defending SoCon champion Samford on Oct. 12 at 4 p.m. before welcoming Chattanooga on Sunday, Oct. 14 at 2 p.m.
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