Defense Continues To Build On Success
Defender Torri Allen

Sept. 16, 2012

By Matthew Pearce, UGA Sports Communications

ATHENS, Ga. --- The first weekend of Southeastern Conference play proved one thing to the Georgia soccer team: the Bulldogs have an excellent defense.

The Georgia back four, consisting of starters Jenna Buckley, Tori Allen, Nikki Hill, and Rebekah Perry, has helped the Bulldogs record a 0.67 goals-against average so far this season.

“They’ve been spectacular,” head coach Steve Holeman said. “We have some great defenders in the back that have the ability to really shut out any team in the country.”

Sunday’s shutout of Arkansas marked Georgia’s second consecutive clean sheet after they blanked Vanderbilt in Friday night’s double overtime tie. Buckley said keeping the opponents off the board is always the defense’s aim.

“Our No. 1 goal as a defense is always that they do not score, so it is huge for us,” Buckley said. “We take a lot of pride in what we do, we have extra meetings, we put in extra time and a shutout is all we ever want.”

Allen agreed with her teammate while saying that she hopes that the defense’s success can give the rest of the team confidence.

“It’s our priority not to let the other team score, so it’s a big thing for us to keep the other team at zero in each half and to give our team a chance to win the game,” Allen said. “I hope that us shutting out teams gives us more confidence overall. As a unit, it shows that if we keep working hard we can shut out teams and give our team a chance to win.”

While the Bulldogs weren’t able to pull out the win against Vanderbilt, two goals from Meghan Gibbons gave Georgia a 2-0 win against the Razorbacks. Buckley said that she hopes the consistency of the defense helps the rest of the team going forward.



“We hope it makes a huge difference for them to know they have a solid back four behind them,” Buckley said. “As long as they can focus on their attacking responsibilities and get some goals, we’re doing everything we can behind them to keep the ball out of the net.”

Holeman said that while the four defenders and goalkeeper Ashley Baker deserve a lot of credit, associate head coach Dan Blank is the driving force behind the success.

“A lot of the credit goes to Dan Blank, who’s our defensive coordinator,” Holeman said. “He does an amazing job. He’s the best I’ve ever had that’s worked with our backline. He does a lot of video work, he breaks down teams and he has weekly meetings with our back four and, as a result, we have one of the best defenses in the SEC.”

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