Sophomore Tori Cooper
Sept. 26, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia soccer team (5-5-1) returns home to take on Missouri and LSU this weekend, with Sunday’s match vs. the Tigers set to air nationally on ESPNU.
The Bulldogs will take on SEC newcomer Missouri Friday night at 7 p.m. - marking the teams’ first ever meeting in their histories. Georgia will then turn around for LSU on Sunday at 4 p.m.
The Bulldogs will offer live video coverage on Friday night and live audio Sunday, with commentary from Kevin Copp on Georgiadogs.com.
Last Time Out: The Georgia soccer team suffered a pair of tough SEC road losses last weekend, falling 2-1 to Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Friday night before Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Florida in Gainesville. Georgia’s Meghan Gibbons scored the goal vs. Alabama after the Crimson Tide scored two just after halftime and would hold on.
On Sunday vs. the Gators, the teams battled to a scoreless first half before UF broke through for four after the break. Tori Cooper scored the goal for the Bulldogs Sunday, the first of her career, while Mackin D’Amico had the assist in her first career appearance.
Looking at Missouri: SEC newcomer Missouri enters the weekend in first place in the SEC East at 9-1 overall and 4-0 in conference play for 12 points. The Tigers made a splash in their first four meetings in the league, most recently defeating Ole Miss 2-1 last Friday and Vanderbilt 2-0 Sunday.
Missouri has been led by Taiwo Adeshigbin with five goals and one assist for 11 points, while two other players have 10+ points - Abi Raymer (4g, 2a) and Haley Krentz (2g, 6a). Keeper McKenzie Sauerwein has allowed just six goals all season for a sparkling 0.60 goals against average. She has five shutouts to her name as well.
Missouri is outscoring opponents by a tally of 23-6 on the season and is averaging 2.30 goals per game.
Series History, Georgia vs. Missouri: Georgia has never faced Missouri in its 17-year history, one of four programs on the schedule this season the Bulldogs are facing for the first time.
Looking at LSU: The other Tigers come in with an overall record of 4-4-3 and 0-3-1 in conference, still searching for their first league win of 2012. LSU will play Mississippi State this Friday night before making the trip to Athens. Last time out the Tigers suffered a pair of tough home losses, falling 3-1 to Auburn and 2-1 to Kentucky in double overtime.
LSU has four players each with two goals apiece - Fernanda Pina, Carlie Banks, Heather Magee, and Kaley Blades. Megan Kinneman has played all 11 games - and every minute of action - in goal, allowing an average of 1.00 goals per game and registering 55 saves for a 0.821 percentage.
Series History, Georgia vs. LSU: Georgia and LSU have played to a relatively even all-time series, with the Bulldogs owning a slim edge with a record of 7-5-1. Georgia last suffered a 1-0 loss to LSU on the road in 2011.
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 11 games the Bulldogs have been paced by redshirt freshman Bella Hartley’s four goals - including two that went for game-winners. Junior Meghan Gibbons has three goals and seven other players have found the back of the net once. Keeper Ashley Baker’s 51 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.
One-Goal Games: The Bulldogs have played six one-goal games out of nine total outings in 2012, going 3-3 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.
Unfamiliar Faces: Georgia will get ready to take on some new teams in 2012, including brand new conference foes Texas A&M and Missouri - neither of which the Bulldogs have ever faced. Additionally, Georgia played South Dakota State and New Mexico each for the first time in out-of-conference action.
#SECsoccer20: The 2012 season marks the 20th anniversary of soccer in the Southeastern Conference (the 18th for UGA). In recognition of this milestone, the SEC is running historical features on each program on its Web site throughout the season - SECdigitalnetwork.com. Georgia’s feature on All-American Stephanie Yarem Ransom, who played on Georgia’s inaugural soccer team - ran Mon., Sept. 17. The SEC also plans to run promotions and giveaways using the hashtag #SECsoccer20.
Next Up: The Bulldogs hit the road next weekend to take on Ole Miss on Fri., Oct. 5 and South Carolina on Sun., Oct. 7. Both games will include live audio and blog coverage on Georgiadogs.com.