Soccer takes aim at its first Southland title
Nov. 3, 2012
BEAUMONT, Texas – The Lamar University Lady Cardinals take aim at their first-ever Southland Conference women’s soccer title Sunday when they meet top-seeded Stephen F. Austin at 1 p.m. Sunday at McNeese State’s Cowgirl Field.
“Were trying to keep the team loose,” Lamar coach Orlando Cervantes said during a spirited practice at the Lamar Soccer Complex on Saturday. “They’re in good spirits, and they’ll be ready on Sunday.”
The second-seeded Lady Cardinals (11-8-1) advanced to the title game with a 3-1 win over third-seeded Southeastern Louisiana on Friday night behind two goals from Kimmy Albeno and one from Kristin Bos. The duo is tied for the team lead in goals with 11 apiece, shattering the old mark of eight set last season by Lisa Hance. The sophomores have 25 points apiece, also tied for the school single-season record.
“We’re not really competing with each other as to who has the most goals,” Albeno said. “We’re roommates and friends. We’re more concerned with just helping our team win.”
Lamar has never beaten Stphen F. Austin in six outings, including a 3-1 loss at SFA earlier this season that snapped Lamar’s school-record five-game winning streak. Albeno did not play in that contest due to illness.
“I know Kimmy is itching to play against SFA,” Cervantes said. “We definitely need her to have a strong game on Sunday.”
Stephen F. Austin (16-3-0) went undefeated in conference play this season, and dominated the conference’s postseason honors with seven first-team selections, including Kylie Louw, the conference’s player of the year.
“They’re a very good team,” Cervantes said of the Ladyjacks. They’re a very technical team. We definitely have to be at the top of our game.”
The Southland Conference Tournament champion receives an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
“We’re playing for a chance to go to the NCAA Tournament,” Bos said. We’ve come this far, we don’t want to stop now.”
Sunday’s championship game will be shown live on the Southland Conference Network that includes KUIL 12.3 (MYTX/MyNetwork) in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area.
Tickets for Sunday’s championship game are $8 for adults and $6 for youths. Children younger than 5 and students at Southland Conference institutions are admitted free with a valid ID. For more information, visit http://www.southland.org/Sports/WomensSoccer/WomensSoccerTournament.aspx.