Soccer Season Preview: Alcorn State
2016 Record: 1-11 (1-9 SWAC), 10th in SWAC regular season standings
Key Returners: Ritta Okoro, Alexandra Salvador, Viktoriya Mihayolva
Key Losses: No key losses, return 9 of 11 starters
Alcorn State will look to improve on its 10th place finish in the SWAC a season ago. In doing so, the Lady Braves will look to new leadership, as Alcorn State hired Junior Noel this offseason to lead its soccer program.
Noel will have one of the best players in the conference at his disposal in RS- Sophomore Rita Okoro, who earned a preseason first team All-SWAC selection at forward. Okoro led the Lady Braves with eight goals and two assists for 18 points in 12 games played in 2016.
Viktoriya Mihaylova also returns for the Braves in 2017. Mihaylova scored five goals and added one assists for 11 points for Alcorn State last season.
Team captain Alexandra Salvador also returns for Noel in 2017. In 2016, Salvador played 1,053 minutes, to lead the team in that statistic in last season. Salvador will look to lead a back end that will look to improve on its 6.17 goals allowed per game, which ranked 11th in the conference last season.
Noel will need to look to other players besides his top scorers who are returning for the Lady Braves to have success and improve on its conference finish from a season ago. Alcorn ranked tied for 8th in the conference in total goals with 19. A more balanced offense will be a big factor in determining the Lady Braves success in 2017.