KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The North Georgia College & State University women's soccer team achieved another first this season as the Saints ended the 2012 campaign nationally-ranked for the first time in program history a ranking of 24th by the National Soccer Coaches of America Association.
"Ending the year in the top-25 is a nice reward for a very special team of hard working players," said head coach Chris Adams. "It is nice to be considered a top-25 program by your peers and be rewarded for a great season."
Three of North Georgia's opponents also finished the year ranked including Armstrong Atlantic State University fifth, Columbus State University ninth and Rollins College 19th while Belmont Abbey College also received votes. The Saints defeated Rollins 1-0 on Sept. 9 and tied Columbus 0-0 on Oct. 17.
The University of West Florida claimed the national championship last weekend and was thus awarded a first-place ranking in the final standings with a 24-1-0 record. The Saints have played the Argonauts in a preseason exhibition the past two years.
North Georgia ended the year with a record of 15-5-2 that included a trip to the NCAA Division II national tournament for the second time in as many years. The Saints out-scored their opponents 75-26 for the season including nine shutouts and did not lose a game by more than two goals all season. North Georgia also once again defeated Wingate University in the opening round of the national tournament before bowing out to No. 5 Armstrong.
The 2012 campaign marked the fourth season in a row that the Saints finished with 10 or more wins in a season; the best stretch in program history. In that time, North Georgia has gone 55-18-6 including setting the program record for most wins in a season with 16 in 2011. In all four of those seasons, the Saints have also advanced to the Peach Belt Conference tournament including making the semifinal round in both 2011 and 2012 and the finals in 2010.
North Georgia graduates six players from the 2012 squad who have been an important part to North Georgia's success in recent years. Graduating from the program are defenders Emily Bowen, Taylor Lee and Melanie Thompson, midfielder Leanne South and forwards Kelsey Martin and Abby Trevino.