A hat-trick for a winning team is not normally reduced to subheading in the next day’s coverage. But Georgia senior Kelsey Killean scored her three goals on a night when freshman Mollie Belisle was destined to take top billing.
Coastal Carolina did not look like taking the 9-1 beating the game eventually turned into in the opening minutes. The Chanticleers moved the ball well and created some early chances.
Even when Georgia senior Mariel Gutierrez knocked home a corner kick in the 5th minute to give the home side an early lead, there was little to indicate a rout was in the offing.
As the game swung back and forth, Georgia prepped their first round of substitutions. Belisle was among four players standing at midfield waiting to get in the game when Coastal’s defenders misplayed a cross and Killean jumped on the resulting loose ball to make the game 2-0 to the Bulldogs 23 minutes into the half.
Belisle waited for the last 15 minutes of the half before putting her stamp on the game. The first goal of her collegiate career came in the 32nd minute when she headed home a corner kick.
Coastal Carolina responded minutes later to make it 3-1 and dangle the prospect of an exciting shootout in front of fans.
But with just over two minutes left in the half, Belisle received a cross with a delicate touch in front of goal before stroking the ball past Coastal’s keeper to extend the lead to 4-1.
That would have been bad enough for the visitors, but Belisle wasn’t finished with them in the first half.
With seconds remaining to intermission, she brought a ball down off her chest in traffic and beat the keeper one more time to complete her first-half hat-trick and send the game to break at 5-1.
Coming out so far behind for the second half, Coastal never really answered the bell. Georgia dominated every aspect of the final 45 minutes tallying a robust 17 shots for the period.
Killean quickly matched her freshman teammate’s tally, converting a penalty kick five minutes into the second half and beating the keeper again just two minutes later for her hat-trick.
Freshman Katie Ralys finished after a corner kick to make it 8-1 in the 74th minute.
And finally Belisle would put an exclamation mark on her night, turning and neatly finishing her fourth goal of the game with a Coastal defender draped on her back.
With the win, Georgia moves to 4-3-1. Coastal Carolina is now 5-2.
Both teams begin conference play on Friday. Coastal Carolina hosts Georgia Southern in a Sun Belt showdown. Georgia will travel to Missouri to start their SEC schedule.