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The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Post-season regulars, newcomers face off

Supreme Dallakoti

As the women’s soccer regular season turns to dusk, the Sun Belt tournament dawns on the top 10 teams. Some are shaking up the tournament landscape. But some familiar faces didn’t make the cut, making for an interesting post-season.

Red Wolves Aren’t the Alpha Anymore:

Regular season titles in 2020 and 2021, as well as tournament runners-up in 2019 and 2020, paint Arkansas State as the top dogs of Sun Belt women’s soccer. That’s why it’s a shock to see the Red Wolves hover around the basement of the SBC for the first time since 2015. However, seeing as the Red Wolves’ only conference wins were 2-1 victories against Troy and Coastal Carolina, the bottom two SBC teams, the pieces start to fit. 

Monarchs Reign Supreme:

Old Dominion didn’t turn too many heads in last year’s regular season. But it left the tournament in shambles after a No. 6 seeded Monarchs team ran the gauntlet, toppling Ark State in regulation, edging tournament royalty South Alabama in penalty kicks and taking the crown from James Madison after a 4-3 double-overtime win over the Dukes.

Winning the East Division is a good start for ODU, but the phrase “any given game day” can giveth, and it can taketh away.

Mobile Mafia:

It’s no surprise South Alabama’s back in the driver’s seat. The Jaguars have won five regular-season titles and eight SBC championships in the past decade.

South Alabama finished the regular season as one of only five undefeated teams in the country. Not a single team has scored more than a single goal against the Jaguars, with a total of seven points allowed in the season. Paired with 50 goals scored on the season, it goes without saying South Alabama is just as much a threat as it’s always been.

Warhawks Face Foes Familiar and Foreign:

As good as No. 6 seed is, ULM’s first match will be against Georgia Southern, a sour spot in the history of ULM’s most recent tournament run. While nothing too special, the Eagles have 20 conference goals across half as many matches. If a healthy and rested defense can limit Georgia Southern’s shots on goal, a trip to the semis is likely.

Assuming the Monarchs prove they deserve their No. 2 ranking, ULM will rematch ODU for a chance to reconcile a last-minute error is most likely lingering in ULM’s thoughts. 

While we’re on some generous assumptions, it’s safe to say South Alabama will not stop at just a semifinal appearance. For better or for worse, the only time ULM would face the Jaguars is in the finals. A tied regular season match means the final match favors no one, however the Warhawks have the chance to rewrite history.

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