Soccer Preview: Alabama A&M
2016 Record: 3-15 (2-7 SWAC) 9th regular season standings
Key Returners: Alexus Lawson, Iris Torres, Alexandra Desgagne,
Key Losses: Estelle Esperance, Andrea Chacon
First-year head coach Emanuel Stephens will have a relatively young roster this season, as they look to improve on last year’s 2-7 record and make the SWAC soccer tournament in 2017.
The Bulldogs lost their top three scorers leaving sophomore Alexus Lawson as the team’s top returnee with three goals last season.
The roster has 14 freshmen and five sophomores with four juniors and two seniors.
However, Stephens will also have his top goalkeeper back this season. Alexandra Desgagne returns for her senior season, after missing several games at the end of last season with a knee injury. Desgagne made 13 appearances, including 11 starts for the Bulldogs last season. She posted a 3.09 goals against average, to go along with a .596 save percentage in 2016.
The Bulldogs do have experience along the back line as well. Juniors Caroline Dyrdek and Julie Duran along with sophomore Camille Nurse will provide much-needed help to Desgagne.
Iris Torres, who led the Bulldogs with more than 1,500 minutes of playing time, anchors the midfield. They will miss stalwart Andrea Chacon, who graduated, but look for Dyrdek and Duran to fill in if needed.
Alabama A&M opens its season on Sunday, Aug. 20, at home against Winthrop. The kickoff is set for 4 p.m.