Record: 8-11-1, 4-5 SEC (Fifth in the East)
Postseason: SEC Tournament First Round
The Georgia soccer team began the 2002 season with expectations of building on the success of the previous year, challenging for an SEC title and earning the program's fourth NCAA tournament berth. However, the toughest schedule in program history and a lack of consistency stood in the Bulldogs' way of reaching those goals. The challenges of the 2002 season, though, provided the team with experience to build on for the future.
Georgia faced ten teams that would make the 2002 NCAA tournament and six rated in the top 25 when the Bulldogs faced them. Georgia posted a 2-8-1 record against the NCAA qualifying squads with four of those matches going to overtime, two of those into double overtime. The Bulldogs were 2-5 against ranked teams.
Thirteen of Georgia's 20 games on the season were decided by one goal or less and the Bulldogs were 5-7-1 in those matches. Head coach Sue Patberg felt that lack of consistency and focus were the team's biggest obstacles in claiming more victories throughout the season.
The Bulldogs finished the overall season with an 8-11-1 record. Georgia finished the regular season fifth in the SEC East standings with a 4-5 conference record and earned the seventh seed in the SEC Tournament, making their fourth consecutive appearance in the conference tournament and sixth overall.
Several players had strong seasons. Senior Carolyn Cayard and junior Andrea Velasco were both named to the All-SEC First Team. A few Georgia players moved up school record lists. Sophomore Tricia McKee is now in sole possession of third on the season goals list with 11 goals this season.
McKee is also now tied for third on UGA's all-time season points list with 24. Sophomore Ashley Lindley moved up to second in career saves with 155 and third in career shutouts with seven. She moved to second on the season saves list with 109 this season. Senior Beth Culver takes over sole possession of fifth on the career assists list with 15. Junior Ashley King is now tied for fifth on the career goals list with 17.
In addition to several Bulldogs posting strong individual performances, several young players got valuable playing experience as Patberg looked to freshmen players to provide needed depth.
While 2002 was not the season Georgia hoped for, the team looks to its talented young players to get the program back on the winning track.