Oct. 12, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia soccer team is back on the road this weekend as it travels to take on Vanderbilt (8-6-0) and Kentucky (10-4-0) in its final Friday-Sunday swing of the 2011 season.
Georgia first heads to Nashville to meet the Commodores on Fri., Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. ET before heading to Lexington to face off against the Wildcats on Sun., Oct. 16 at 4 p.m. Both games will include live audio and blog coverage on Georgiadogs.com, while Sunday marks the Bulldogs' second TV game of the season as it will air on ESPNU with Sam Gore and Cat Whitehill on the call.
Georgia faces a big weekend against its SEC Eastern Division foes as it looks to keep pace in the conference race. Entering the weekend, the Bulldogs have 12 points to sit tied for second in the East and are third overall behind only Florida and LSU - both at 5-1-0 with 15 points.
"This is another big SEC weekend for us," said head coach Steve Holeman. "Vanderbilt is on a roll, they're playing well coming off a big sweep of two great conference opponents [LSU and Arkansas]. I think we carry some momentum with us into these games. We'll have our hands full and we'll have to be at our best to get a result."
LAST TIME OUT: Georgia picked up a weekend sweep of SEC West rivals Mississippi State and Ole Miss last weekend, in the process winning the program's 200th all-time game and keeping pace in the league race at 4-2 in conference and 10-4 overall. On Friday night the Bulldogs came back to beat MSU after going down 3-0 with under 20 minutes remaining, good for the largest comeback in school history. On Sunday Georgia defeated Ole Miss 3-0. Alexa Newfield posted six points on the weekend, including her fourth multi-goal game of the season on Friday night, while Ashley Baker logged her third shutout of the year vs. the Rebels.
INSIDE THE HISTORIC WIN: The comeback vs. Mississippi State last Friday night was the biggest in school history, as Georgia had never before overcome a 3-0 deficit that late (19 minutes left) in the game. Aside from that, and marking the program's 200th all-time win, it had many more storylines. It was just the third time and the first since 2000 that Georgia allowed three goals and won. It pushed the Bulldogs to 4-0 in overtime in 2-11, with Alexa Newfield either scoring or assisting the game-winner each of those times. Newfield scored two goals, moving her to 11 on the season, which makes her just the ninth player to score double-digit goals and Georgia and into eighth all-time in career goals now with 19. In the game, MSU keeper Skylar Rosson posted 19 saves, a Mississippi State record. Newfield fired a staggering 17 shots Rosson's way, which was a Georgia record, and was just two off the SEC record of 19 set back in 1995. Georgia fired a collective 42 shots, good for sixth all-time. It was the first time the Bulldogs scored four goals in an SEC game since 2003.
LOOKING AT THE COMMODORES: Vanderbilt sits at 8-6 overall, 2-4 in SEC play following a sweep of LSU and Arkansas last time out. The Commodores are led by Candace West's 4-goal, 2-assist effort for a team-best 10 points, while three different keepers have played near equal time in net for Vanderbilt thus far. The Commodores have scored only three goals in the first half of games this season, putting in 10 after halftime and one in OT. They have not scored more than two goals in a game this season.
Vanderbilt is coached by interim head coach Derek Greene, who replaced Ronnie Woodard in the summer of 2011.
SERIES HISTORY, GEORGIA VS. VANDERBILT: Georgia is 9-9 all-time in the seires with Commodores but rides a four-game winning streak. Last season the Bulldogs won 1-0 at home via a Marah Falle goal in the 15th minute.
LOOKING AT THE WILDCATS: Kentucky is out to one its best starts in recent memory at 10-4 overall and 3-3 in SEC play. The Wildcats most recently best Arkansas and fell to LSU.
UK is led by Kelsey Hunyadi with eight goals and seven assists for 23 points. She is followed by four from Caitlin Landis and three for Arin Gilliland. In goal, Kayla Price has played the majority of the minutes, saving 56 shots on her way to four shutouts.
SERIES HISTORY, GEORGIA VS. KENTUCKY: Georgia is 10-4-3 all-time vs. Kentucky. Last season the teams played to a 1-1 tie in Athens, with the Bulldogs falling behind and then tying it up on an Alexa Newfield goal but unable to put in the go-ahead goal.
NEWFIELD NAMED SEC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: For the second time this season and third time in her career, Georgia forward Alexa Newfield was named the Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week, it was announced Oct. 11.
The Atlanta native again made her mark on the Bulldogs' weekend wins, totaling six points by way of two goals and two assists to sit with 11 and seven, respectively, in those categories - both team-highs. Friday night vs. Mississippi State, Newfield scored two penalty kick goals in regulation to help propel Georgia's largest comeback in history - rallying from down 3-0 with 19 minutes to play to defeat MSU 4-3 in double overtime. Newfield then assisted Ashley Miller's game-winning goal three minutes into the second extra period to seal it. On Sunday vs. Ole Miss, she assisted Nikki Hill's first career goal that pushed Georgia's lead to 3-0 over the Rebels in completing the weekend sweep.
The Friday feat was Newfield's fourth multi-goal game of the season, while the sophomore took 17 shots in the game to mark a Bulldog program record and finish just two shy of the SEC record of 19 set in 1995.
THE NUMBERS GAME: Georgia has scored first in nine of 14 games this season ... 11 players have scored goals and 15 have at least one point ... Georgia has allowed fewer than two goals in nine of the last 10 games ... in three games this season the Bulldogs and the opposition have scored goals less than a minute apart (vs. Villanova, 59 seconds; vs. UNCG, 17 seconds; vs. South Carolina, 21 seconds) ... the Bulldogs are 4-0 in overtime this season, with all four game-winners in those games either scored or assisted by Alexa Newfield ... Newfield has five game-winning goals on the season, good for fifth place in Division I women's soccer ... Jenna Owens has assisted an Alexa Newfield goal four times this season.
A MILESTONE IN 2011: The Georgia soccer team won its 200th all-time game on Oct. 7, 2011 vs. Mississippi State. Georgia entered the 2011 season with an all-time record of 191-117-27 and made sure to capture the milestone.
Playing its first season in 1995, Georgia Soccer earned its first win on Sept. 3, 1995, its 100th on Sept. 14, 2003, and No. 150 on Nov. 2, 2007.
In doing so, Georgia became just the fourth SEC program to win 200 games all-time. Florida, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky have already accomplished the feat. Additionally, it was the 10th Georgia team to win 200 games, the first since softball did so in 2002.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: Georgia has gotten goals from 11 different players through the first 14 games in what has shaped up to be a balanced offensive output so far in 2011. Paced by an SEC-best 11 goals for sophomore Alexa Newfield, four from Ashley Miller and three for Madeline Barker, a total of 15 players have found the stat sheet for either goals or assists.
Balanced offense has been a trend in recent years, as last season 12 different players scored goals.
WHAT'S NEXT: Georgia remains on the road next week for a rare Thursday night outing at Auburn on Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. ET. Live audio coverage and the Georgia Soccer Live Blog will be offered for the game on Georgiadogs.com. The Bulldogs are then home for their final two regular-season games, hosting Alabama and Tennessee to close the slate.