Freshman Hannah Edwards
Oct. 9, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia soccer team (9-4-0, 2-3-0) will hit the road for one game this weekend, traveling to face Auburn (4-8-1, 0-5-0) on Fri., Oct 11 at 8 p.m. E.T. The Bulldogs are looking to get back on the right track after suffering a pair of losses at home last weekend. Georgia then has its second open date of the season on Sunday.
The AU game will include live audio coverage and the Georgia Soccer Live Blog on Georgiadogs.com beginning just before kickoff on the Plains.
Last Time Out: The Georgia soccer team suffered two home losses last weekend against Alabama and No. 25 Ole Miss to drop to 9-4 (2-3) on the season. The Bulldogs lost 3-2 in overtime to the Crimson Tide on Friday night, before falling by a 3-1 final to the Rebels on Sunday.
In that game, the Bulldogs got a third-minute goal from freshman Marion Crowder, her ninth of the season, as the Mississippi native moved into sole possession of second place all-time in goals by a UGA rookie. Keeper Caitlin Woody posted a career-eight eight saves vs. the Rebels, who scored three unanswered goals in the win.
Georgia has lost three games in a row for the first time since Oct. 7-14, 2012, but the squad responded after that skid to win 3-0 at Mississippi State on Oct. 19.
Looking at the Tigers: Auburn enters the weekend at 4-8-1 overall and 0-5-0 in conference play coming off last weekend’s 3-1 loss to Texas A&M and 3-0 loss to Florida.
Statistically, the Tigers are led by a pair of players with double-digit points to their name in Casie Ramsier (5g, 3a, 13p) and Tori Ball (4g, 4a, 12p). Two goalkeepers have split time in net for AU, with Alyse Scott logging 692 minutes and eight starts, and Alicen Wright playing just shy of 500 minutes with five starts.
Auburn - like Georgia - is a relatively young group, with 10 newcomers (eight freshmen) on the 2013 team to join 11 returners. AU went 13-11-1 last season and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Georgia owns a slim 9-8-2 lead in the all-time series, though the Bulldogs are seeking their first win over Auburn since 2010. Last season, the Tigers squeaked by with a 1-0 win in Athens.
Bulldogs In The National Rankings, RPI: Georgia opened at No. 13 in the NCAA RPI, and is now No. 38. The RPI (rating percentage index) is the most important criteria used by the NCAA to determine the 64-team tournament field, taking into consideration a team’s results and strength of schedule. Thirteen was the highest RPI for the Bulldogs since they were No. 9 on Oct. 21, 2009, and the highest of the head coach Steve Holeman era, while the following week’s No. 17 marked the second-highest.
Georgia will look to return to the national rankings this week after briefly slipping out following last weekend’s losses. Georgia was No. 20 in last week’s Soccer America poll and No. 24 in Soccer Times, and was receiving votes in the NSCAA Coaches Poll.
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 last month and updated after games through Oct. 6, Georgia’s shutout percentage of 0.615 ranks 16th in the nation, while the Bulldogs’ goals-against average of 0.762 is good for 53rd.
Individually, Marion Crowder’s nine goals rank 29th in the nation and sixth in the Southeastern Conference, while the rookie’s 19 points are good for 55th in the nation and seventh in the SEC. Caitlin Woody’s 0.821 save percentage ranks 76th in the NCAA and third in the SEC.
Crowder Power: When Marion Crowder scored four goals against the College of Charleston on Sept. 15, she became the first freshman to do so in Georgia soccer history. The only other player to score four goals in a game for the Bulldogs was senior Jessica Winton, and it happened a decade ago. With a team-leading nine goals and one assist for 19 points, Crowder already ranks second all-time among UGA freshman in a single season, while her team-best five game-winning goals rank fifth all-time still with six regular-season games to play.
Before she was kept off the board at Kentucky on Sept. 29, Crowder has scored in four straight games, and promptly got back in the scoring column against Ole Miss on Oct. 6 as she tallied one in the third minute of the game.
Next Up: The Bulldogs return home to the UGA Soccer Stadium for two games next weekend, hosting Mississippi State and Texas A&M on Friday and Sunday, respectively. The game vs. the Aggies is set for a 3 p.m. start and will be televised nationally on ESPNU.