Sept. 5, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia soccer team (4-2) returns home from four straight road games and will round out the non-conference portion of its schedule when it welcomes New Mexico to the UGA Soccer Stadium for a Friday night game on Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.
Georgia will offer live video coverage with commentary from Kevin Copp beginning just prior to kickoff. Live scoring will also be available on Georgiadogs.com.
Last Time Out: The Georgia soccer team came away with a weekend split at the UCF Invitational in Orlando, defeating South Florida 2-1 last Friday night before suffering a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to No. 9 UCF in overtime Sunday afternoon. Georgia got goals on Friday night from Susannah Dennis and Bella Hartley, both coming on header goals off corner kicks to earn the win over the Bulls. On Sunday the Bulldogs battled the top-10 foe to a scoreless 90 minutes on the strength of keeper Ashley Baker’s career-high 13 saves.
Looking at the Lobos: New Mexico enters the weekend - in which it will take on both Georgia and Florida - at 2-3-1 on the year. Most recently the Lobos earned a pair of impressive wins at the Time Warner Classic Texas Invitational, defeating SMU 4-1 on Friday before rallying to beat Texas 2-1 after tying the game with under a minute to play in regulation.
The Lobos have been led thus far by Jordan Craig, who scored three goals on the weekend including both vs. the Longhorns, on her way to MWC Offensive Player of the Week honors. In goal, Kelli Cornell has played every minute while logging a 1.30 goals against average and 16 saves.
Series History, Georgia vs. New Mexico: Georgia and New Mexico have never faced one another in their histories, though the Bulldogs are 3-3 all-time against teams from the Mountain West Conference. Georgia most recently faced an opponent from the MWC in 2010, a 3-0 win over Utah - now in the Pac 12.
About the Bulldogs: The 2012 Bulldogs returned nine starters and 16 letterwinners from last season’s NCAA second round campaign, including All-SEC midfielder Alexa Newfield and goalkeeper Ashley Baker. The squad also welcomes in eight freshmen.
In 2011 Georgia made the field of 64 and reached the second round for just the sixth time in school history, putting together a record of 13-7-2 (6-3-2 SEC). It was Georgia’s fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last five seasons and eighth overall, as UGA defeated Kansas in the first round before falling to the eventual national runner-up Duke, 3-1.
Georgia’s 2012 schedule is again a difficult one, with the squad set to face off against 11 NCAA Tournament teams from last season as well as five teams that were ranked in the preseason NSCAA top-25 poll.
Through the first six games the Bulldogs have been paced by redshirt freshman Bella Hartley’s four goals, while her two game-winning goals tie her for first in the conference in that category. Keeper Ashley Baker 31 saves lead the SEC, as does her 6.20 saves-per-game average.
Bulldogs Ranked No. 28 in NCAA Projection: The Georgia soccer team comes in at No. 28 this week in the Top Drawer Soccer “Tournament 64” rankings, after starting No. 25 in the preseason edition.
The rankings are a season-long attempt to project the postseason college soccer tournament qualifiers, including every automatic conference berth. Florida State, Stanford, Duke, UCLA, and Oklahoma State make up this week’s top 5.
Georgia is one of six Southeastern Conference programs included in the latest projected tournament field, joining eighth-ranked Texas A&M, No. 16 Florida, No. 25 LSU, No. 35 Tennessee, and No. 42 Ole Miss. The SEC sent eight teams to last season’s NCAA Tournament, which ranked second-most among any conference in the nation behind only the ACC’s nine.
Updated projections will be released every Monday during the season, and differ from traditional “top 25” rankings.
One-Goal Games: The Bulldogs have played five one-goal games out of six total outings in 2012, going 3-2 in those games. In 2011 Georgia played in nine one-goal games all season, with a record of 6-3 in those games.
Milestone Nearing for Holeman: Georgia head coach Steve Holeman needs just seven more wins to secure the 200th of his career. He entered the season at 189-137-37 overall in 18 seasons at Auburn, Ole Miss, and Georgia and now sits with 193 career victories.
That ranks him tied for 46th all-time in career victories among active Division I coaches, and seventh in the SEC.
Next Up: Georgia remains at home when it opens the SEC schedule next weekend vs. Vanderbilt and Arkansas at home. Both will include live video streaming on Georgiadogs.com.