Freshman Emma Sonnett vs. Arkansas
Sept. 19, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia soccer team (5-3-1) takes to the road for the first time in SEC play in 2012 when it travels to take on Alabama and Florida this weekend.
Georgia first heads to Tuscaloosa to meet the Crimson Tide (5-2-1) this Friday night at 8 p.m. ET, before taking on Florida (4-3-1) at 2 p.m. on Sunday in Gainesville. The meeting with the Gators will be televised regionally on CSS.
The Bulldogs will offer live audio coverage with commentary from Kevin Copp beginning just prior to kickoff for both games on Georgiadogs.com. The Georgia Soccer Live Blog will also be up and running.
Last Time Out: The Georgia soccer team went 1-0-1 to open SEC play last weekend, earning a scoreless tie with Vanderbilt on Friday night before defeating Arkansas 2-0 Sunday at the UGA Soccer Stadium in Athens. The unblemished weekend moved the Bulldogs to 5-3-1 on the season as the squad prepares to travel to Alabama and Florida for a pair on the road.
Looking at the Crimson Tide: Alabama enters the weekend with an overall record of 5-2-1 (0-1-1 SEC), coming off last weekend’s pair of overtime games that resulted in a 2-1 loss to Tennessee in Knoxville and a 1-1 draw with LSU in Baton Rouge.
The Crimson Tide have gotten goals from nine different players thus far, paced by six scores and two assists for 14 points for freshman forward Katie Bourgeois. Both Pia Rijsdijk and Theresa Diederich have scored four goals for Alabama. In goal, Shelby Church has logged over 700 minutes playing in and starting all eight contests. She has allowed just six goals for a 0.77 goals-against average, stopping 27 shots for a 0.818 save percentage on the season.
Series History, Georgia vs. Alabama: Georgia is 11-3-1 all-time vs. Alabama, most recently earning a 2-2 tie against the Crimson Tide in 2011 in Athens. That contest saw three penalty kicks and three goals in a span of 73 minutes in the second half.
Georgia is unbeaten vs. the Crimson Tide in the teams’ last seven outings dating back to 2005.
Looking at the Gators: Florida enters at 4-3-1 (1-1-0) after opening league play with a 2-1 loss to Kentucky last Friday and a 2-1 overtime win vs. Auburn Sunday.
The Gators have been led by two goals apiece for Mckenzie Barney, Holly King, Erika Tymrak, and Havana Solaun on the season, while keeper Taylor Burke has played in and started all eight games, making 25 saves and logging a 1.47 GAA.
Series History, Georgia vs. Florida: Georgia has struggled vs. Florida in the all-time series, currently just 2-23-1 vs. the Gators in history. The Bulldogs’ last win over its border rival came back in 2008 in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament. The first win came in 2007.
Last season Florida came away with a 1-0 win over UGA in Athens.
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 nine games the Bulldogs have been paced by redshirt freshman Bella Hartley’s four goals - including two that went for game-winners. Keeper Ashley Baker’s 40 saves rank second-most in the SEC.
Good Crowds: Georgia has seen impressive attendance yet again this season, currently in second in the SEC with an average crowd of 1,490 at the UGA Soccer Stadium and a total home attendance of 7,451 -- behind only Texas A&M.
Stacking Up: Georgia redshirt freshman Bella Hartley is currently ranked tied for eighth in the SEC in goals with four, while junior Carli Shultis is tied for third in assists with four. Senior keeper Ashley Baker is currently No. 2 in the league in saves (40) and saves per game (5.83), and third in save percentage (0.870).
As a team, Georgia is second in the league in shots with 44, and second in saves (43).
One-Goal Games: The Bulldogs have played five one-goal games out of nine 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.
Milestone Nearing for Holeman: Georgia head coach Steve Holeman needs just six 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 194 career victories.
Next Up: Georgia is back at home next weekend, welcoming Missouri and LSU to the UGA Soccer Stadium on Friday and Sunday, respectively. The meeting with Mizzou marks Georgia’s first ever contest vs. the Tigers in the SEC and overall. Sunday’s game vs. the other Tigers will be aired nationally on ESPNU at 4 p.m.