Aug. 7, 2013
BEAUMONT, Texas - The Lamar University women's soccer team took its first step on the road that it hopes leads to the Southland Conference title when it held its first practice of the season today.
"The first day of practice is one of the best days of the year," second-year Lamar coach Orlando Cervantes said. "I'm excited to be out here."
The Cardinals are coming off their best season ever in their short six-year history. Lamar went 11-9-1 overall, including a second-place finish in the Southland Conference with a 6-2 record. Lamar dropped a 2-1 decision to Stephen F. Austin in the championship game of the Southland Conference Tournament.
"We watched the video for the first time the other day in our team meeting," Cervantes said of the title game. "I think that gave us some motivation. We want to win the conference this season."
Last season, Lamar went 7-2 over its last nine games, outscoring its opponents 14-8 over that time, with both losses coming to Stephen F. Austin. For the season, the Cardinals were especially tough at home, posting a 7-0-1 record at the Lamar Soccer Complex.
"We knew it would take a while for us to gel last season, because we, as a coaching staff, came in so late," Cervantes said. "This year we all know what to expect from each other."
Lamar enters training camp with a 25-player roster, an increase from last season, when Lamar had 19 players on the active roster.
"We couldn't practice 11-on-11 last season," Cervantes said. "This year, that's something we hope to be able to do."
Lamar returns its top four scorers from last season, led by Kimmy Albeno, who had 27 points on 12 goals and three assists, and Kristin Bos, who finished with 26 points on 11 goals and four assists.
Defender Amber Thornhill
returns to lead the Lamar defense, while goalkeeper Bailey Fontenot
, who set Lamar records for goals-against average (1.18), save percentage (.844) and wins (11) along with tying the school record with six shutouts, is also back.
The Cardinals open the season at 7 p.m. Aug. 23 when they host Prairie View A&M. Season tickets are now on sale at the Montagne Center ticket office, online at www.LamarCardinals.com, or by calling (409) 880-1715. Season tickets are $25 for adults, and $15 four youths and seniors. Lamar students receive free admission with a valid ID.