Sept. 10, 2013
The following is the third installment of a biweekly blog that senior Madeline (Maddy) Barker is penning for the Georgia soccer team during the 2013 season. Her blogs will be published exclusively on Georgiadogs.com.
By Maddy Barker
First and foremost, congratulations to Coach Holeman for reaching his 200th win last Friday night! What a huge accomplishment. I am so thrilled to have been a part of such a memorable moment. He will surely never forget the evening considering that was his first water cooler getting dumped over his head as a celebratory act! Nice job, Callie Corbin Langford!! Secondly, I would like to congratulate Caitlin Woody and our back line for putting up five straight shutouts. This is the first time since 1999 that a UGA soccer team has been able to win five games in a row with a clean sheet. That is a huge accomplishment for our team, but most importantly for our keeper and our defenders. We hope to keep the streak alive and break the record of consecutive wins.
Friday night was not only Coach Holeman's 200th career win, but it was also a huge night for our freshman Gabby Seiler who scored the golden goal in overtime, snatching her first collegiate goal. It was absolutely beautiful, and honestly, a sigh of relief. After the win Friday night, we quickly turned around Saturday morning and headed for UNC Greensboro to play our match against the Spartans. This was not just any ordinary game, for this game had some emotions involved. Head coach for the Spartans, Steve Nugent, was the keeper coach at UGA my freshman year, and to say he left an impact would be an understatement. Talk about a thoughtful man. His heart is made of gold and he is one of the kindest and most genuine people I know. It was great to see him. Just when we thought UNCG could do us no more harm, they hired the man who was Nugent's replacement here at Georgia, keeper coach Jonathan Harvey. If there was anyone who could fill Nuge's shoes, it would be Harvey. Harvey has not always been a soccer coach. He served two terms in Iraq fighting for our country before settling in and doing what he loves – coaching soccer. Growing up in Athens, Harvey has always been a Bulldog fan and coaching for the soccer dogs was a dream come true. But as life sometimes has it, it was best for him and his beautiful wife, Raegan, to move on and go to UNCG and work as Coach Nugent's assistant. Seeing both of them was a treat, and getting to spend some time in our hotel with them laughing and joking about old times was just the cherry on top. Although we loved our opponent's staff on Sunday, we still needed the resulting win. We got the job done together as a unit and went home from Greensboro as happy campers, stopping at Cold Stone Creamery on the way for a little reward.
We have two home games coming up this weekend, and naturally, I can't wait. There truly is nothing like the feeling you get when it's Friday night, under the lights, playing in front of 2,000 cheering Bulldog fans. Over the last few years playing college soccer I've traveled to some pretty cool places, but I'll tell you what, no one in the country has loyal fans like ours. No one. We are so blessed to have so many little girls who come to our games with our names and numbers painted on their faces, and they wait in long lines just to get our autographs and have their pictures taken with our team members after the game. They may dream of having the chance we have each day to play soccer for the Bulldogs. That is truly a humbling experience, and I am reminded to never take this opportunity for granted. Hopefully we inspire these girls and make an impact on them just as we were influenced by the older girls we looked up to when we were their age.
To end this week’s blog I have a little questionnaire for you all. I have been thinking of some fun facts about the girls on the team, and will ask you some questions to see if you can identify the correct player. The answers will be featured in the next blog so you can check back and see how well you know the Bulldogs. Good Luck!
Which girls on our team are one-half of a twin pair? (hint: there are five twins on our team)
Who aspires to be a dolphin trainer when she graduates from college?
Who was an Iron Kids national champion and competed in triathlons as a child?
Who has the most tattoos on our team?
Who on our team is the farthest from home?
Who is the closest to home?
How many girls have dual citizenships & to which country?
Who does not eat meat on our team? (yet she is the strongest & holds the most weight room records)
Who has the littlest feet on our team?
Who has spent New Year’s Eve in New Zealand?
Who turns 21 TODAY??
Which player’s dad was my coach for three years?
Tune in next time for all of the answers! Until then, Go Dawgs!