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Soccer Looking to Build in 2015

Aug. 19, 2015

by Megan Minnix

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Golden Eagles women's soccer team hopes to build on the success of its 2014 season with even more results in a tough schedule this year.

In 2014, the team finished with an overall record of 5-11-3 and a conference record of 0-7-3. Last year was head coach Mohammed El-Zare's second season with the Golden Eagles, who continue to set new records in various categories.

Seniors Casey Adkins, Brooke Hendrix and Missy Wentz proved to be consistent players throughout their four years at Southern Miss. At the end of last season, all three entered the record books for career games played, while Adkins and Hendrix set records for career games started. Hendrix also entered the top 10 in career assists (10).

The goalkeepers had a record breaking 2014 season as well. Sophomore Brittany Taylor and freshman Shelby Presnell set top 10 records for both number of shutouts in a season and total career shutouts. The team finished the season with an impressive five shutouts.

In only her second year at Southern Miss, Taylor set new marks for number total career saves (193), career wins (6), and career goals against average (1.36). She also broke the school record for number of saves in a game (21).

With last year's accomplishments in mind and higher goals set to achieve, the Golden Eagles open the 2015 season the regular season Aug. 21 against Arkansas State at Jones County JC, followed by a two-game away stretch against Jackson State (Aug. 23) and Nicholls State (Aug. 28). Conference play begins Sept. 25 against Middle Tennessee.

Joining the experienced team this year is 14 new additions. These incoming freshmen and transfers will provide even more depth to the Golden Eagles team, who returned 14 players from last fall.

El-Zare is excited about the team's three new international players, who will add talent to the already diverse squad. Freshman Aisa Ribbens from the Netherlands, freshman Ashleigh Lewis-Shodiende from England, and junior forward Rikke Randrup from Denmark will all bring original playing styles to the Golden Eagles.

Freshmen Ashton Stennis, Kaitlin Fayard, Bri Schubeck and Morgan Mansell, and junior Anne Baumhower are new additions to the strong Golden Eagle backline. Joining goalkeepers Presnell, Taylor and Kelly Brahmbhatt between the posts is freshman Brittany Snyder.

Other newcomers, including Stephanie Garcia, Kierstin Bradley, Hannah Abrams, Mary Kate Smith and Ola Akinniyi, will find their positions as midfielders and forwards this season.

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