#30 Georgia Women's Soccer 2012 Preview

Georgia Bulldogs

Overall Rank: #30
Conference Rank: #5 SEC
Georgia Women's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
Georgia Team Page


Coach Steve Holeman wasted little time turning around the Georgia program as he has done so many times. Eleven wins shy of reaching the 200 win plateau, Coach Holeman should reach that mark with this group, led by junior midfielder Alexa Newfield. Newfield shattered the Georgia record books in 2011, tallying 40 points on the season and taking an impressive 102 shots. Newfield ended the season with 16 goals and eight assists. That may be tough to top, but Newfield is now an experienced upperclassman who will hold some Georgia career records before her collegiate days are over.

2011 Record: 13-7-2, 6-3-2
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Steve Holeman

While Newfield keeps the offense moving, what was a relatively inexperienced defense should now be one of the strengths of the squad. Jenna Buckley is back for another year after anchoring the defense a year ago. With the return of Torri Allen, Nikki Hill and Rebekah Perry, the back line is in great shape. The addition of freshman Tori Patterson, who is ranked College Sports Madness’ 101st best incoming freshman, will add even more depth. The defense allowed just 13.0 shots per game last season and that number should go down this year. While allowing 1.27 goals per game ranked a paltry 134th in the nation, considering this is the SEC, that is not bad at all. The experience gained by the defense will make life a little easier for senior keeper Ashley Baker. The 5-10 goalie started all 22 games in 2011 and tallied 96 saves and six shutouts. Her save percentage of .780 is not spectacular, but she spent her summer playing with the England U-23 squad and is more than capable of becoming an even more dominating force between the posts.

Having a player like Newfield is great, but Georgia could use another scorer to help take some of the pressure off of their star. Ashley Miller was second on the team last year with five goals, but she is now gone. Forward Meghan Gibbons proved to be a capable scorer off of the bench and tallied three goals in just 717 minutes of play. Jenna Owens is another option, but she plays better in the midfield and had five assists and just two goals last season. Forward Carli Shultis failed to find the back of the net in 2011 and she may be pushed for playing time by freshmen like Mariah Dickey, Andie Fontanetta and Bella Hartley and Cara Smith. The goals could also come from the midfield where Susannah Dennis, Nicole Locandro and Madeline Barker all netted at least two goals in 2011. There are certainly options, but it would be very beneficial if a forward could emerge and compliment Newfield by at least being a consistent threat to score.

Final Projection:
Coach Holeman will certainly find what fits best for his team and there is likely a secondary goal scorer on the roster. With just a handful of key departures, this is a Georgia team that has a ton of potential. The SEC is never easy, but that will prepare them for another trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs reached the second round last year for just the sixth time in school history. This year they will look to make it seven and maybe even go a little bit further.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Alexa Newfield, Junior, M, 16
Assists: Alexa Newfield, Junior, M, 8
Shots: Alexa Newfield, Junior, M, 102
Saves: Ashley Barker, Senior, GK, 96

Madness 2012 Women’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#101 Toriana Patterson