Soccer Weekly Notes – August 22, 2005

Carrollton, Ga. – August 22, 2005 – It’s a new year and the growing pains should be mostly done for the West Georgia women’s soccer program. Head coach Gareth O’Sullivan came to Carrollton because he is a proven winner, and the 2005 season should be no different.

In 2004, the team was very unexperienced, a problem that O’Sullivan remedied in the off-season.

Last season’s leading scorer Alex Udin (14 goals in 2004) and leader in the defense Stephanie Giles return for their respective sophomore campaigns and are surrounded by a plethora of solid talent. Giles will receive help from Rachel Doody, a transfer who played on the full national team in New Zealand.

Midfielder Sara Sohlberg is a great player who played for U-18 national team in her home country of Sweden. Sohlberg has been impressive in preseason and could be a top goal-scorer for the Braves.

“Sara should be very good for us this year,” O’Sullivan said. “She has the potential to score 20 goals.”

Moving into the goal this year is junior Jackie Mulligan (above), who played Gaelic football in her home Ireland. Coming from a sport that is a mix of soccer and rugby, keeper is a perfect fit for Mulligan.

The Braves defense should be upgraded as well, with several athletic players joining Giles at defender. Katie Perea is a first year collegiate player, but has a lot of maturity and speed to boot. Samantha Malone was a player at Division-I Georgia State before coming to Carrollton and Jo Welsh played at Christian Brothers for two seasons before joining the Braves.

With the experience and talent that O’Sullivan has coming in, this year’s Braves should make waves in their first year of action in the Gulf South Conference. Coaches around the league have taken notice, and West Georgia is picked to finish fourth this season, which would earn a spot at the GSC tournament.

The Braves have looked good in preseason scrimmages and gave former D-II national power Kennessaw State a run for it’s money. The Lady Owls are moving to D-I in the 2005 season.

Things kick-off Thursday with the Braves first contest of the regular season against Armstrong Atlantic State. Kick-off is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.

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