Baton Rouge, La. – The 2019 preseason officially began on Tuesday (Aug. 6) for the LSU soccer team that features 30 student-athletes. Interim head coach Debbie Hensley, and assistant coaches Justin Maullin and Carl Goody took the team through a 90 minute workout in the morning, and then the team returned for another training session Tuesday evening at LSU Soccer Stadium.
The Tigers will have 11 more training sessions mixed in between two exhibitions matches before they open the season on the road at Villanova on Aug. 22 at 3 p.m. CT. Both of the exhibition matches will be hosted at LSU Soccer Stadium. The first one is on Aug. 9 against Southern Miss at 6 p.m., and the final preseason tune-up will be on Aug. 15 against SMU at 8 p.m.
Tinaya Alexander, Marlena Cutura, Molly Thompson, Shannon Cooke and Lindsey Eaton are the top returning point scorers from the 2018 squad. Cutura had a career year in 2018 with a career high 11 points thanks to three goals scored and five assists credited. Alexander has the most career points of the group with a total of 19 throughout the first two years of her career; she tallied 13 points (3g & 7a) as a freshman and last year’s sophomore campaign saw her add in six assists.
The 30 student-athletes on the roster hail from four different countries (United States, Canada, Australia, England). The biggest international contingent comes from England with the likes of Cooke, Alexander and All-SEC performer Chiara Ritchie-Williams. Reese Moffatt and Jade Clarke come to the states from Canada and senior Caitie Cantrill hails from Australia. Of the 24 players that come from within the United States, eight are from Louisiana, six come from Florida, three are from Texas, two from Alabama and North Carolina, and one apiece from Tennessee, Minnesota and Georgia. The Tigers welcome in eight freshman to the squad as well.
United Soccer Coaches Poll
LSU will begin the season ranked No. 24 in the nation as the United Coaches Soccer released its preseason poll on Tuesday afternoon. The Tigers will be one of five SEC teams to begin the season ranked in the top 25 alongside Tennessee (No. 10), Texas A&M (No. 12), South Carolina (No. 15) and Vanderbilt (No. 17).
The 2019 campaign will mark the 25th season of LSU soccer. LSU has played 494 matches in the first 24 years of program history and owns an all-time record of 229-208-57 for a winning percentage of .521. The most games played in a season is 24 and that has happened three times (2018, 2009, 2007).
Fans in Louisiana will have a total of 10 opportunities, two exhibitions and eight home regular season matches, to come out and support the Tigers. The official home opener for the 2019 season will be on Friday, August 30, at LSU Soccer Stadium as LSU will host McNeese State for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The full 2019 schedule is linked above.