Soccer Season Preview: Southern
2016 Record: 3-14 (3-7 SWAC), eliminated in 1st round of SWAC soccer tournament
Key Returners: Sophia Zavala, Deserie George-McCool, Jessica Persico
Key Losses: Victoria Mendes
The Southern University soccer team will look to improve on its first round exit of the SWAC soccer tournament last season. Head coach Jeremy Fontenot will look to lean on a number of key players returning from last year's team to improve its win total, and tournament seed positon in 2017.
Returning for Fontenot is 2017 preseason second team All-SWAC selection at forward Sophia Zavala. Zavala tallied 10 goals for a total of 20 points to lead the Jaguars offensively last season.
Midfielder Jessica Perisco also returns for the Jaguars in 2016. Perisco score two goals to go along with three assists for seven points in 2016.
Defender Deserie George-McCool returns to lead the back end for Southern in 2017. George-McCool played a total of 1,249 minutes and scored one goal for two points last season.
Fontenot will need to replace starting goalkeeper Victoria Mendes this season. Mendes made 11 starts for the Jaguars, totaling a 3.28 goals against average and .650 save percentage in 2016.
Fontenot will likely look to returning senior goalkeeper Kendra Lewis. Lewis made three starts for Southern last season, making 29 saves on 43 shots faced in those three appearances.
Fontenot will need to look get other players contribute offensively around Zavala in 2017, and not have so much of the offense focused on one player. With a new goalkeeper seeing the bulk of the starts as well, more scoring will help keep the pressure off the Jaguars defense.
Southern will open its 2017 season on August 20 when it travels to take on Lamar. The contest is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.