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LU hosts ULM in exhibition game on Saturday

Published: August 9, 2017

BEAUMONT, Texas – The Lamar University women’s soccer team hosts Louisiana-Monroe at 1 p.m. Saturday at the LU Soccer Complex in the only exhibition game on the Cardinals’ schedule this season. Admission to Saturday’s game is free.


The Cardinals, who are picked to finish eighth in the 12-team Southland Conference this season, look to bounce back from a 2-14-3 campaign in 2016, a record that included a 1-7-3 mark in Southland Conference play.


LU coach Steve Holeman, who is in his second year with the Cardinals, added 11 new faces to the roster for 2017 in his first full recruiting class.


“I think you will see immediate contributions from many of them,” Holeman said of the newcomers. “We added quality, not just quantity.”


The Cardinals ended 2016 on a high note, with a 1-0 victory over archrival McNeese in the season finale and carried that over into the spring, posting an 11-2-2 record. So far, Holeman likes what he sees in practice this fall.


“The players reported in much better condition this season than they did last year,” Holeman said. “I was very happy to see that. I was also happy to see that the newcomers also reported in good condition. I think they’re serious about making an improvement over last season.”


Senior midfielder M.J. Eckart, a second-team preseason all-conference selection last season, led LU with six goals and 12 points last season. Eckart had both of LU’s game-winning goals.


Eckart will serve as one of LU’s captains this season along with senior midfielder Laura Parra and sophomore defender Carly Morgan.


“The newcomers are led by junior defender Amelia Fullmer, a transfer from Iowa Western, where she earned junior college All-America status in 2016, and junior forward Kelso Peskin, who had 15 goals and eight assists for 38 points at Tyler Junior College last fall. Junior forward Rubi Villegas, a transfer from Oklahoma Christian, and freshman forward Lucy Ashworth, who played for the Manchester United and Manchester City women’s teams, are other newcomers who could have an immediate impact.


Senior Lauren Lovejoy and sophomore Rachel Gries have waged a spirited battle to be No. 1 goalkeeper. Last season, Gries went 2-11-1 with a 2.17 goals-against average, a .754 save percentage and three shutouts. Lovejoy had a 1.78 goals-against average and a save percentage of .815 as she went 0-3-2.


The regular season kicks off at 7 p.m. Aug. 18 when the Cardinals host Southern University.  LU students attending that game will receive a free Lamar University Soccer T-shirt while supplies last.


Season tickets and individual-game tickets are now available. For ticket information, call 409-880-1715, or visit www.LamarCardinals.com.


2017 Southland Soccer Preseason Poll

       Team (First-place votes)


  1. Central Arkansas (14)


  1. Stephen F. Austin (5)


  1. Abilene Christian (4)


  1. Houston Baptist (1)


  1. Northwestern State


  1. McNeese


  1. Southeastern Louisiana


  1. Lamar University


  1. Sam Houston State


  1. Nicholls


  1. UIW


  1. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi







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