The University of Georgia soccer team finished the year ranked No. 18 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America final rankings. The Bulldogs found themselves in the Top 20 for the first time since 1998 and the third time in team history.
Georgia finished the season having set or tied several school records, including: most wins in a season (18), fewest losses in a season (4) and third-fewest total goals allowed (19).
The Bulldogs earned a host of post-season awards, including a school-record four All-America honors from SoccerBuzz Magazine. Sophomore forward Carrie Patterson was named a Second-Team All-American, while defender Kelli Corless, midfielder Caroline Simpson and defender Danielle Abelson were each named to Freshman All-America teams.
Additionally, Georgia saw four of its players named to All-SEC squads. Patterson and defender Megan Tomlinson were selected to the first team, while Corless was named to the second team. Corless and forward Marah Falle earned all-freshman team honors. Corless was also tabbed the SEC Freshman of the Year and head coach Patrick Baker was voted the SEC Coach of the Year, becoming the first Georgia head coach to earn that honor.
Georgia posted its best regular season in team history with 15 victories, capping it with a 3-0 win over No. 9-ranked Tennessee. That win tied the mark for the highest-ranked opponent the Bulldogs have ever beaten, and is the highest-rated team Georgia has defeated at home. The 15-win mark also tied the school record for total wins a season, with postseason action in 2007 still remaining.
In Southeastern Conference play, Georgia set a new team standard with an 8-1-2 mark, recording the most conference wins by a Bulldog squad. Georgia has managed to completely reverse almost all of its regular-season losing results against SEC competition year after year under Baker. With the win over Tennessee to close out the 2007 regular-season slate, Georgia moved to 5-0-1 against teams the Bulldogs lost to in 2006. That mark includes wins over Florida, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Arkansas and a draw against Ole Miss.
The eight-win SEC effort was good for a second-place overall finish, also a first for the UGA soccer program. The second-place finish was a six-spot improvement from the 2006 campaign that saw Georgia finish the year in eighth place, earning the final spot in the SEC Tournament.
The team then went on to the 2007 SEC Tournament as the No. 2 seed, where the Bulldogs battled through to the finals before falling to No. 1-seeded Florida. The tournament run marked the second time in team history that Georgia has appeared in the finals, with the first coming in 2000.
Following its SEC Tournament efforts, Georgia was selected to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003. With the team's highest-ever NCAA Tournament seeding of No. 3, Georgia earned the right to host first and second round matches. After defeating Alabama A&M by a 6-1 score, Georgia fell to Duke in the second round, 1-0, to end the season.
For the fifth consecutive year, the University of Georgia soccer team earned the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Team Academic Award. The NSCAA award goes to all squads maintaining a team GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Following are several other notes of interest regarding the Bulldogs' record-setting season:
-Georgia will set a new school record for fewest losses in a season as the Dogs cannot lose more than four total games
-Georgia has recorded eight shutouts, the third most in a single season by any Bulldog squad
-Georgia posted the best total home attendance and average home attendance numbers in the conference: 17,728 total fans watched 11 home games, an average of 1,612
-The Bulldogs went 8-1-2 in conference play, improving from a 5-6 record in 2006, a four-game improvement based on winning percentage
-UGA posted the best road record by any Bulldog squad, going 5-1-1 away from home. The five wins equal the school-best marks for most wins on road, the best winning percentage on road, and the fewest losses on the road, in a single season.
-The Bulldogs have made a meteoric rise in the NCAA RPI, one of the most important determining factors in selection to the NCAA Tournament. In 2005, Georgia finished ranked No. 66 in the RPI. In 2006, Georgia fell to No. 92. Currently, the Bulldogs are listed at No.10 and will undoubtedly climb even higher after the win over Tennessee, who was fifth in the RPI before Georgia's 3-0 win Friday night.
-The 3-0 win over No. 9-ranked Tennessee marked the first time since 2002 that Georgia posted a shutout over a Top 25 team
-Georgia went undefeated in Southeast Regional action, going 10-0-0.