Soccer ready to kick season off

Dakota Ratley

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The women’s soccer team is displeased with being picked to finish last in the Sun Belt this year.

The team is coming off a 6-12-1 record last year that included a 1-7 record in the conference. They finished tied at the bottom of the Sun Belt. 

Second-year coach Roberto Mazza said that his team is ready to prove everyone wrong.

“Nobody wants to be last.  That’s just going to add more fuel to the fire,” Mazza said.

Lone senior Cerene Arsenault will lead this year’s team.  First-team All-Louisiana forward Jenna Pillon will also return. The sophomore is coming off a season in which she led the team in goals, points and game-winning goals.

 The youth of this team looks to be an advantage. There are only four members of this year’s team that are upperclassmen. However, these players carry a lot of experience, as the team returns 10 of its 11 starters from last year.

Despite an extra year with this core group of players, redshirt sophomore Antonia Land says this team is focused on this season.

“I think we’re ready to win now. Everybody is in the right mindset, and we all have that same goal,” she said.

That goal is to make it to the conference tournament. The last time the Warhawks made it to a conference tournament was in 2005. That  tournament was before ULM made the change to the Sun Belt in 2006.

The Warhawks hosted Belhaven in an exhibition game last Tuesday. They took the 3-0 win in the 60-minute game. Jenna Pillon, Mary Ashton Lembo and Kylie Kukowski all scored a goal each. Coach Roberto Mazza called the game a “confidence booster.”

The team travelled to play Northwestern State Sunday. They will also make trips to play Southern, Grambling State, Southeastern Louisiana and Nicholls State. They will also travel to play Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

The team will then play host to Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 12. They will  play at McNeese State before a four game home stand. The team will return home for conference games against Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Arkansas State and UALR.