October 2, 2006
Tifton -- Abraham Baldwin College has a soccer team for this first time in school history this year.
The Fillies opened their season with a win, and haven't slowed down much from there.
Despite being composed entirely of freshmen, the team has never had a losing record, and hung tough in losses to #1 Darton and #4 Young Harris.
Brand-new programs aren't supposed to have a lot of success.
Midfield/defender Natalie Barber says, "New teams are usually expected to come into the region and get whupped, walloped, and we've come out and had a good season."
"I think we've pretty much shown everybody we're for real, we're out for business," adds outside midfielder Leslie Williams.
ABAC's goal before the start season was to win at least half its games in the first year.
They've already accomplished that.
"You have to set new goals now," says Williams. "Nobody thought we'd be this good."
Center midfielder/forward Lisa Atkinson says, "We worked really hard. We did three-a-day (practices) for a long time, so we worked for what we have."
The success has even led to a new haircut for Coach Ballenger as early in the year he promised the team they could shave his head if they won three games in a row.
The Fillies responded with four straight wins.
"Wow," says Williams. "That was fun."
"Everybody had a hand in it," adds Atkinson, with a smile. "We tried to give him a hairdo, but he said 'No, shave it all off.'"
The teams new goals for the remainder of the season are pretty clear-cut.
Head Coach Jimmy Ballenger says, "We want to get into the playoffs as the #2 seed or the #3 seed."
"We'd like to come in and make some noise," adds Barber. "Maybe even scare a few teams up top. Show them that we're not just some little podunk town."
The Fillies play at number one Darton on Monday at 7pm.