STATESBORO, Ga. - The 2011-12 Georgia Southern Athletics Calendar opens on Friday night, August 19th as the Eagle women's soccer team starts the fall campaign against Winthrop. The game will be the opening of a new era as Head Coach Lindsey Vanderspiegel leads the Eagles onto the field for the first kicks in anger.
The Eagles return their leading goalscorer from the 2010 season, Sara Oland (Evans, Ga.) as well as the team leader in assists from last season, Courtney Collins (Mason, Ohio). Oland tallied nine goals in the 2010 season while Collins made three assists as a sophomore. The scoring duo is joined by Krystin Smith (Acworth, Ga.) as 2011 team captains as voted earlier this week by the team.
In Georgia Southern's only tune-up match of the preseason, the Eagles took a 1-0 victory over North Florida. Oland recorded the goal, stealing a backpass and beating the Osprey goalkeeper.
The 2011 Georgia Southern Eagles feature eight newcomers to the roster. Four transfers join the Eagles with previous collegiate experience, including Christine Watts (Duluth, Ga./South Carolina), Zoe Van Gorder (Park City, Utah/Utah), Kailey Kiefus (North Tustin, Calif./Gonzaga) and Emily Archer (Cornelius, N.C./Belmont Abbey). The newcomers also feature four freshmen, Lindsey Vasher (Richmond Hill, Ga.), Nicole Heiser (Strongsville, Ohio), McKenzie Stanford (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Sydnie Van Curen (Rincon, Ga.).
The Southern Conference Women's Soccer Coaches, in their 2011 preseason poll, predicted the Eagles to finish in 11th place of 12 teams while selecting UNCG to repeat as league champion.
Georgia Southern's first opponent for the new year, Winthrop finished the 2010 season at 7-10-2. The Eagles were the regular season co-champions of the Big South with a 6-2-1 record in league play. Last year's leading goalscorer for Winthrop, Courtney Durbin, returns after scoring eight times, while the Eagles lose Tricia Vensel who scored four times last season.
Georgia Southern returns home on Thursday, August 25th, for the 2011 home opener against Mercer. The match at Eagle field starts at 4 p.m.
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