Young soccer team eyes successful 2017
GC Women’s Soccer kicked off the season with a strong 2-1 victory against King (Tenn.). The Bobcats were propelled to this come-from-behind victory by way of two second half goals from junior forward Amanda Bartholomew off assists from freshmen Cassie Balzano and Becca Morris.
Bartholomew scored both of the Bobcat’s goals, beating the keeper for the first goal in the 67th minute and finding the back of the net just eight minutes later with the decisive second goal.
Head Coach Hope Clarke is confident that the striker will continue her goal-scoring ways, “Bartholomew is going to be a force to be reckoned with up top” this season.
Bartholomew scored three times in their first two games this season, with the third coming in 5-1 defeat at the hands of highly ranked Carson Newman (#25). Despite the loss, Bartholomew was pleased to have seen such a strong opponent this early in the year.
“Playing a really good team in the very beginning of our season really just helped us see what we needed to work on” Bartholomew said.
Bartholomew profited off the new, young talent on the team, as both of her goals were assisted on by freshmen (Balzano and Morris). With six of the seven freshmen playing significant minutes, Coach Clarke seemed very pleased with the play of the talented young players so far saying that they have handled the transition to a faster paced college game well.
Freshman Balzano is glad to have such a talented, experienced forward like Bartholomew to work with on the field. When asked about how the period of transition into the school and team has been, Morris commented on how the older girls on the team have helped with the process.
“Everyone is super encouraging when we do something wrong,” said Morris, continuing that “I don’t think anywhere else it would be this easy to transition into the team.”
For Junior Goalkeeper Ashlee Graham, this year will be a different kind of transition as she has a completely different defense in front of her.
“It’s kind of hard to adjust to a completely new back line. . . we’re working really hard to get that connection going and it’s only going to get stronger as we go on.”
This new back line will be led by freshman Kai Jeffries who Clarke says is doing very well holding down the center back position.
Following that defeat to Carson Newman, Coach Clarke commented on a couple of things they will need to improve on in the upcoming games.
“We still created a lot of opportunities, we got in on them a number of times we just needed to be better with our finishing”
“Being stronger on the ball and better movement off the ball” added Bartholomew, when asked what she thought they would needed to work on.
This talented Georgia College team added a lot of new pieces this season, and if they are able to find the right
way for those pieces to be incorporated into the team, the Peach Belt Conference will have to keep an eye out for the Bobcats. The Bobcats will be back in action on Saturday, September 16 against North Georgia.