Weekly Athletics Release One – Monday, August 27, 2012
DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The 2012-13 year has started and competition is set to begin this week. Each week, a weekly release will be produced with a section for each in-season sport that will include a recap of the previous week and what is happening in the upcoming week.
Following a breakout performance in 2011 that saw the women’s soccer team finish 16-3-1 overall and second in the final Peach Belt Conference standings with an 8-1-1 league record, the team returns 17 letterwinners including eight starters. That experience coming back, along with 10 talented freshmen joining the mix, caught the eyes of the other conference coaches who tabbed the Saints third in the 2012 PBC Preseason Coaches Poll.
Two returning starters, Kelsey Martin and Kelly Penston, were named last week to the PBC’s Preseason All-Conference team and will look to help lead the team this season along with the other returners.
A year removed from making the program’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Division II tournament, head coach Chris Adams and the Saints are looking to continue their momentum in 2012 and that starts this week as the team opens their campaign on the road at the University of Alabama-Huntsville in Huntsville, Ala. on Thursday, Aug. 30 at 2:30 p.m. local time. The Chargers of Alabama-Huntsville were tabbed fourth in the Gulf South Conference Coaches Poll behind North Alabama, West Florida and Valdosta State.
The women Saints will then get their first taste of action at home in their early-season tournament with Mount Olive College, Belmont Abbey College and the University of West Florida. Action gets under way on Saturday, Sept. 1 with a 2 p.m. game between West Florida and Belmont Abbey before North Georgia takes on Mount Olive in the day’s second game at 4:30 p.m.
Action in the tourney will resume on Monday, Sept. 3 with an 11 a.m. match between West Florida and Mount Olive. The Saints will close out the tournament with a 1 p.m. game against Belmont Abbey.
The men’s soccer team, which finished the 2011 season 9-7-1 that included victories in three of their final five games, will look to capitalize on that late-season success early on in 2012. The men will be playing with a bit of a chip on their shoulders as they were tabbed seventh in the preseason coaches poll by the league coaches.
The Saints ended last season with a 1-0 loss to Clayton State in the conference tournament but had won three-straight prior to that.
Head coach Pat Parris brings in 10 newcomers to join his solid core of 17 returners including eight starters from last season’s squad.
North Georgia took advantage of their preseason exhibitions to prepare for the tough upcoming season and went 1-1-1 that included a 1-0 win against NCAA Division I program Mercer.
The regular-season begins with a pair of early-season tournaments hosted by Clayton State University and the University of Tampa.
The Saints will first make the short trip to Morrow, Ga. for the Clayton State Laker Shootout on Friday, Aug. 31 and Saturday, Sept. 1 where they will face Queens University (NC) and Pfeiffer University. Both contests are slated for 5 p.m.
Women’s Cross Country
Following a two-year hiatus, the women’s cross country program returns to North Georgia under the direction of new head coach Tom Williams who served as the head coach at Walton High School for 20 years.
The women, featuring a roster of 17, will get their first start of the season this Saturday, Sept. 1 at the Young Harris Invitational in Blairsville, Ga. The meet is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.