The Georgia women’s soccer team recently wrapped up its 2017 spring campaign after playing seven games away from Athens due to the construction of a new grandstand and press box at the Turner Soccer Complex.
The seven-game spring season was highlighted by three opponents who earned bids to the 2016 NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament, two of which advanced to the Elite 8 and one to the Final Four.
This year’s spring slate marked the third under head coach Billy Lesesne, and one that the Bulldogs used to improve on every aspect of their game. With several players out due to injury, Lesesne saw his team grow across the board and gain valuable experience that will pay dividends in the fall.
“We played challenging teams in the spring, which was great for our overall growth,” Lesesne said. “The spring is a time when everyone gets to prove themselves. It’s about growth and development and I think we took advantage of that opportunity.”
Success in the spring season is not measured in wins or losses, but rather improvements made across the roster. Georgia has three early enrollees that saw ample playing time to prepare them for collegiate soccer come the regular season.
“We were much more cohesive as the spring went on and were really able to rely on each other,” Lesesne continued. “We are doing a lot of work off the field to build relationships and we’re seeing those bonds improve our play on the field. We are playing better now than we were earlier and we hope to improve more. Talent alone doesn’t win games and the collective effort has moved us closer to success.”
Georgia returns a plethora of talent for the 2017 regular season. Kelsey Killean earned a spot in the starting lineup and proved to be an effective asset of the Georgia attack throughout the 2016 season. She scored five goals, made two assists, and took 18 shots. Goalkeeper Louise Hogrell returns to the net after posting four shutout victories, which pushed her into the fifth spot in the Georgia record books with 14 shutouts for her career. A main voice on the backline, Delaney Fechalos will return to the field after playing a key role in Georgia’s shutout wins and making numerous blocks.
Feb. 26 vs. University of North Florida, W 1-0
Feb. 26 vs. Jacksonville University, T 1-1
March 18 vs. South Carolina, L 3-1
March 18 vs. Furman, W 2-1
March 25 vs. Mercer, T 0-0
April 1 vs. Auburn, T 1-1
April 9 vs. University of North Carolina, L 1-0
April 9 vs. Appalachian State, W 2-1