Sept. 11, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia soccer team returns home for two games this weekend as the Bulldogs are set to close the non-conference portion of its schedule against 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Long Beach State on Friday night and the College of Charleston on Sunday.
The Bulldogs (5-1-0) are currently riding a five-game winning streak - second longest in the Southeastern Conference - and have posted five consecutive shutouts for the first time since 1999, logging nearly 485 minutes of scoreless soccer.
Georgiadogs.com will offer live video coverage for both of this weekend's games, with commentary by Kevin Copp slated to begin just before kickoff.
Milestone Reaches Milestone: Georgia fourth-year head coach Steve Holeman reached a milestone last Friday night in Georgia's 1-0 overtime win over Jacksonville, snagging the 200th win of his 20-year coaching career. In 20 seasons at Auburn (1), Ole Miss (15), and Georgia (4), Holeman has now amassed a record of 201-149-39 (.567).
Hot Start to 2013: With a record of 5-1, Georgia is off to its best start since the 2009 team began 7-0-1, marking the best opening to a season in the Steve Holeman era.
Stacking Up: Through the early part of the 2013 campaign, the Bulldogs stack up well both nationally and in the SEC in several categories. In the NCAA statistics, released for the first time this week, Georgia's shutout percentage of 0.833 ranks tied for fourth nationally, while their goals-against average of 0.327 is good for 18th.
The Bulldogs currently lead the SEC in shots with 138 (23 per game), with Texas A&M next with 115 (19 per game). Georgia has allowed the second fewest goals in the conference with just two, also second in goals-against average (0.33). Five shutouts are tied with South Carolina for most in the league. Georgia has also taken the second most corner kicks in the SEC with 43 (7.17 per game).
Individually, Georgia's Madeline Barker is tied for third in the SEC in shots with 24 (4 per game), while Barker's two game-winning goals are tied for most in the conference. Georgia's Caitlin Woody is third in the SEC in goals-against average (0.33), fourth in save percentage (0.889), and tied for first in shutouts (5).
Durable Locandro: Georgia senior midfielder Nicole Locandro has been one of the Bulldogs' most durable players throughout her career. As of Sunday's game at UNCG, Locandro has started 51 straight games to lead active players, dating back to Oct., 24, 2010. In all, Locandro has started 60 of 69 games in her career - totaling 13 goals, eight assists, and 34 points, while making good on all three of her PK opportunities including vs. Mercer this season.
Last Time Out: The Georgia soccer team came away with a 1-0 win over UNC Greensboro on the road on a hot Sunday afternoon at the UNCG Soccer Stadium, getting the game-winner from senior Madeline Barker in the second half to hand the Bulldogs their fifth straight victory and fifth straight shutout. The squad notched another weekend sweep - also winning Friday night vs. Jacksonville in overtime in Athens via a Gabby Seiler score in the 100th minute.
On Sunday it was Barker who collected her second game-winning goal of the season, while the senior from Atlanta leads the team with three goals and seven points.
Looking at the 49ers: Long Beach State heads to Athens with an overall record of 3-2, most recently earning a close 1-0 win over in-state rival Loyola Marymount on Sunday. It was the third straight victory for LBSU, which began the season 0-2.
In the early going, the 49ers are paced by a pair of players with six points apiece in Hannah Sanders (2g, 2a) and Elizabeth Lyons. (1g, 4a). In goal, Kaci McCain (270:00) and Ashton McKeown (180:00) have split time.
Long Beach State has reached three straight NCAA Tournaments, most recently falling to Santa Clara in the first round in 2012. The squad brought back 13 letterwinners and five starters from that squad, which finished with an overall record of 12-8.
Friday night will mark the inaugural meeting between Georgia and LBSU.
Looking at the Cougars: The College of Charleston enters the weekend at 2-4, but will play Auburn on Friday night before making the trip to Athens for the Sunday meeting. The Cougars most recently 1-0 to Kent State.
CofC is led through six games by senior forward Mccallie Jones with two goals and one assist for five points. Keeper Eli Sarasola has logged the most minutes for the squad with over 506, posting a goals-against average of 2.31 and 26 saves.
The Cougars are in their first season in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), transitioning from the Southern Conference after a 2012 season that saw the squad reach the semifinals of the conference tournament despite just a 7-12-1 overall record.
Georgia is 4-0 all-time vs. CofC, most recently earning a 3-1 win in 2010.
About the Bulldogs: The 2013 Bulldogs returned six regular starters and 15 letterwinners from last season, including first team All-South Region and second team All-SEC defender Torri Allen as well as the team's leading offensive player from 2012 in senior Nicole Locandro (4g, 3a, 11p). Additionally, the squad welcomed in 16 newcomers, including two Gatorade high school state players of the year in Marion Crowder (Mississippi) and Rachel Garcia (Georgia).
Georgia's 2013 schedule is again a difficult one, with the squad set to face off against six NCAA Tournament teams from last season. Georgia will play 11 home games and will only meet 11 of the 13 SEC teams this season in the second year of conference expansion, missing out on Vanderbilt and Tennessee during the regular season in 2013.
Next Up: Georgia will open SEC play next weekend as South Carolina heads to Athens for a Friday night showdown under the lights on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs then have an open date that Sunday.