Athens, GA - The No. 17 Georgia soccer team will play the final weekend of its five-game homestand when it welcomes SEC East foes Kentucky and Vanderbilt to the UGA Soccer Stadium for a Friday-Sunday pair. Georgia will take on Kentucky on Fri, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. and will face Vanderbilt on Sun., Oct. 3 at 3 p.m. The Vandy game will be televised nationally on ESPNU featuring Sam Gore (play-by-play) and Cat Whitehill (color). Live audio will be available for both contests on Georgiadogs.com with commentary from Kevin Copp. Live stats will be available for both as well.
LAST TIME OUT: Georgia went 1-0-1 in the SEC opening weekend, earning a 1-0 win over LSU on Friday and settling for a 0-0 double overtime draw to Arkansas Sunday in steady rain. The meeting with the Razorbacks featured a one hour and 18 minute lightning delay before the teams could conclude their 110 minutes of scoreless soccer. Georgia took a season-high 27 shots vs. Arkansas, allowing only six.
Georgia’s lone goal of the weekend came from senior defender Kelli Corless, who wrapped a corner kick around the near post and over the keeper’s hands to propel the Bulldogs to the 1-0 decision over the Tigers.
LOOKING AT KENTUCKY: The Wildcats dropped their first two conference games this past weekend, falling 5-1 to No. 21 South Carolina Sunday after a 2-0 loss to seventh-ranked Florida on Friday, both at home in Lexington. Kentucky now sits at 6-4-0 (0-2-0).
The Wildcats are paced by Kelsey Hunyadi’s 10 points (5g, 0a), followed by Taylor Parker’s seven (1g, 5a) and two players with six.
Starting keeper Sydney Hiance - a two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Week honoree this season - has logged 48 saves and four shutouts on the year.
Georgia owns a 10-4-2 all-time record vs. the Cats, including a four-game winning streak after last season’s 1-0 result in Lexington.
LOOKING AT VANDERBILT: Vanderbilt is coming off a 0-1-1 weekend as they tied South Carolina, 0-0, and fell 2-0 to the Gators in the conference openers to fall to 4-5-1 on the year.
Vandy has been led by Candace West and Dana Schwartz each with three goals, while Megan Kinsella has two goals and three assists. Rachel Bachtel has played every minute between the pipes, posting 40 saves to date for a goals against average of 1.25 and four shutouts.
The Commodores still own a slight 9-8 all-time lead over the Bulldogs in the all-time series between the Eastern Division rivals, but Georgia has won the last three meetings including last year’s 3-0 victory in Nashville.
TOP-20 RANKING: The Georgia soccer team broke into the top-20 for the first time this season, ranked No. 17 in the latest edition of the NSCAA/HendrickCars.com weekly poll released on Sept. 20. Georgia remained No. 17 in the poll this week in the Sept. 27 edition after a 1-0-1 weekend.
The Bulldogs had previously stood at No. 21, enjoying a four-spot jump after last Friday night’s 3-1 home win over the College of Charleston.
Georgia came in at No. 20 in the Soccer Times poll for this week and No. 27 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com rankings, which project a mock NCAA Tournament field of 64 teams each week.
KEEPING IT OUT OF THE NET: Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Ashley Baker notched a career-high 11 saves vs. Stanford on Sept. 10 and added 10 more against Santa Clara the following game. The Lilburn, Ga., native ranks second in the SEC in saves (53) and third in saves per game (5.30).
The Bulldogs have given up only eight goals all season (0.80 per game, good for third in the conference).
SECOND HALF TEAM: Georgia leads the opposition, 5-4, in the first halves this season. But after halftime (including their overtimes) the Bulldogs have allowed just four goals while scoring 17.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: The Georgia soccer incoming class of 14 was highly touted all offseason, and the group has not disappointed. Through eight games in 2010, the freshmen have scored 13 of 22 goals while adding 10 of 22 total assists and 36 of 66 points. Freshmen have logged three of Georgia’s six game-winning goals in 2010.
Five freshmen -- Meghan Gibbons, Alexa Newfield, Torri Allen, Carli Shultis, and Nicole Locandro -- have earned starting spots. Three more newcomers have seen game action.
The biggest testament to the strength of the class was the Bulldogs’ two-week sweep of the SEC Freshman of the Week honors. The first two weekly awards went to Newfield and Locandro, respectively, on Aug. 30 and Sept. 6.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Bulldogs hit the road next weekend, traveling to Ole Miss and Mississippi State Oct. 8 & 10. That will be the first weekend of a six-game road swing for Georgia, which only has one home game remaining after that.