Aug. 20, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia soccer team will kick off the 2014 season this weekend with a pair of games - split away and home - against Ole Miss and UNC Greensboro. Following the rare season-opening SEC contest on the road in Oxford on Friday night at 7 p.m. ET, the Bulldogs return home to take on UNCG on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the UGA Soccer Stadium.
Friday night's game will serve as the first ever in-season, on-campus live event to air on the brand new SEC Network (Beth Mowins/Monica Gonzalez), while Sunday's game will be available on the network's new digital platform, SEC Network + (Kevin Copp/Lisa Boyd). Both games will offer live audio coverage on Georgiadogs.com. Friday will mark the return of the Georgia Soccer Live Blog, which will be offered for all road games in 2014.
Georgia In Season Openers: The Bulldogs are 14-3-2 all-time in season openers, most recently falling 2-0 to Texas in 2013 on the road in Austin.
Overall, the Bulldogs are winners of seven of their last nine season openers dating back to 2005, and have outscored opponents by a count of 24-5 in those games.
The Bulldogs have never before opened a season against an SEC opponent.
About The Bulldogs: The 2014 Bulldogs return six regular starters and 17 letterwinners from last season's squad, including leading goal-scorer and All-South Region performer Marion Crowder.
Additionally, Georgia welcomes in 13 newcomers - five of whom play for their respective country's youth national team in Mariel Gutierrez (Mexico U-20), Louise Hogrell (Sweden U-19), Eli Martinez (Honduras U-20), Shayna Raekelboom (Belgium U-19), and Becca Rasmussen (United States U-18).
Georgia's 2014 schedule is again a difficult one, with the squad set to face off against eight 2013 NCAA Tournament participants. The Bulldogs will play nine home contests at the UGA Soccer Stadium.
Last Time Out: The Georgia soccer team scored three second-half goals in just over a minute on its way to a 3-0 victory over league rival Auburn last Saturday night at the UGA Soccer Stadium in the Bulldogs' final exhibition test heading into the 2014 season. The win came in front of an impressive standing-room-only crowd on a balmy night in Athens.
Georgia was coming off a 3-0 loss to Clemson last weekend, rebounding to put three in the back of the net to come away with the split of the exhibition schedule.
The teams played to a scoreless first half, with Georgia outshooting Auburn by a count of 7-3 over the first 45:00. The Bulldogs got their first goal of the day in the 58th minute as sophomore defender Alexa Antetomaso sent one from long range over the keeper's head following a UGA corner kick opportunity to give the home side the 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs followed that up just 19 seconds later as freshman Becca Rasmussen found Rachel Garcia in front, and the sophomore one-timed it into the back of the net for the 2-0 advantage. The third and final goal came 58 seconds after that, as forward Caroline Waters worked to keep a ball in just short of the end line, crossing it to freshman Kelsey Killean, and the rookie finished to put Georgia on top 3-0, which is where it remained.
Looking at the Rebels: Ole Miss is coming off a successful 2013 season that included a 16-6-2 record (7-3-1 SEC-4th place) and a trip to the NCAA Tournament second round.
The Rebels bring back 16 letterwinners while ushering in six newcomers. Among the returning players are seasoned forwards Bethany Bunker and Olivia Harrison, with the pair combining for 13 goals and 15 assists last season. Ole Miss loses its top two goal-scorers from last season in Rafaelle Souza and Mandy McCalla.
Georgia is 9-8-2 in the tight all-time series. The Rebels earned a 3-1 victory over the Bulldogs last season in Athens.
Looking at the Spartans: UNC Greensboro went 10-6-4 last season and 5-2-3 in the Southern Conference, good for a third-place league finish. Head coach Michaell Coll is in his first season at the helm of the Spartans.
UNCG brings back seven starters from last season, including all-conference performers Chesney White, Rebecca Burrows, and Georgia Brown.
Georgia is 3-1 all-time vs. the Spartans, including a 1-0 victory last season on the road in Greensboro.
Next Up: The Bulldogs have a West Coast road swing in store next weekend, traveling to take on Long Beach State and Cal State-Fullerton Aug. 29-31.