Women's Soccer Opens Up 2017 Season Against Nicholls State
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Southern Miss women’s soccer team will kick off the 2017 season with a pair of home matches at the Southern Miss Soccer Complex, taking on Nicholls State on Friday, Aug. 18 at 4 p.m. and Stephen F. Austin on Sunday, Aug. 20 at 12 p.m.
The Golden Eagles are looking for their first win against Nicholls State under Coach Mohammed El-Zare. The team is 0-1-1 when facing the Colonels after coming behind from two goals down in 2015 to earn a draw.
The Colonels return an All-Southland Conference senior in Katherine Kelly and a sophomore goalie who held her opponents to a program-low 22 goals.
The Golden Eagles topped the Southeastern Lions 8-1 last Thursday in the team’s only exhibition game of the season. Six different Golden Eagles found the back of the net, including four freshmen. Freshman Jennyfer Caracheo recorded two goals in her debut in Hattiesburg.
Junior, Stephanie Garcia also claimed two goals while playing the majority of her minutes in the first half. Garcia finished the 2016 season leading the team with six goals and five assists. She also recorded her first career hat trick against C-USA opponent, Middle Tennessee in the last home game of the season.
The Golden Eagles earned its first winning season in 13 years with their 8-7-2 record. The six home wins and the three-game win streak to start the season gave El-Zare his first winning season in his four years at the helm.
El-Zare’s squad showcases 12 newcomers including 11 freshmen and one transfer. The 2017 class is the biggest recruiting class for El-Zare with four of the freshmen playing for Solar Chelsea FC in Texas. Eight newcomers come from Texas including sophomore transfer, Avery Ortmann, who played her freshman season at Southern Methodist University.
The Golden Eagles return home Thursday, Aug. 31 and host Grambling State at 5 p.m. after two road games against Lamar and Louisiana-Monroe.