“Texas A&M is a tremendous team,” LU coach Steve Holeman said. “They have won 13 in a row against some of the best teams in the country.” The Cardinals (18-3-1) bring a 12-game winning streak into the contest, while the Aggies (17-2-1) have reeled off 13 straight wins. Senior goalkeeper Lauren Lovejoy, who has played every second for the Cardinals this season, enters the tournament with a 0.90 goals-against average and a school-record 10 shutouts this season. Lovejoy said this team fully believes in each other and the coaching staff. The Aggies are 7-1-1 on their home field, 3,500-seat Ellis Field, one of the best college soccer venues in the nation. The Aggies averages almost 2,800 fans per home game. “We know we have a tough task, but we’re still playing soccer in November,” Holeman said. “More than 260 teams already had their season come to an end. No matter what happens, this has been a season to remember. We’re going to do our best to make even more memories.”Courtesy of Lamar Athletics “We have such a great chemistry on this team,” Holeman said. “The returning players really bought into our system, while the newcomers wanted to be part of building a successful program and being part of history.” Junior forward Kelso Peskin, a transfer from Tyler Junior College, leads the Cardinals in scoring with 27 points on eight goals and 11 assists. Her 11 assists are a single-season school record, while her 27 points are one shy of the single-season LU mark. Freshman forward Lucy Ashworth is second on the team in scoring with 16 points on four goals and eight assists. Eckart (6-3-15) and freshman forward Madison Ledet (4-7-15) are tied for third in scoring. Ledet was the MVP of the Southland Conference Tournament. The winner of Friday’s game advances to the round of 32 next weekend to meet the winner of this weekend’s IUPUI at Notre Dame game at a site to be determined. WATCH LIVECOLLEGE STATION, Texas – Two of the hottest teams in the nation clash in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament at 7:30 p.m. Friday when the Lamar University Cardinals travel to College Station to take on the host Texas A&M Aggies. The game will be shown on the SEC Network+. “It’s a great soccer environment,” said Holeman, who coached games at Texas A&M while at Ole Miss and Georgia. “This should be a tremendous experience for our players.” “We couldn’t have won the regular-season championship and the tournament unless everybody did their part,” Lovejoy said. “Not just the starters, but the reserves. Not only in games, but in practice. I am so proud to be part of this team.” The Aggies have outscored their opponents 43-15 this season. Ally Watt leads Texas A&M in scoring with 24 points on 11 goals and two assists. Goalkeeper Cosette Morche, like Lovejoy, has played every second this season. She sports a 0.73 goals-against average with seven shutouts. The Cardinals, who went 2-14-3 last season, are just the second team in NCAA women’s soccer history to have 16 more wins than the previous season, are making their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the 11-year history of the LU soccer program. “This has been such a special season,” said senior midfielder M.J. Eckart, a first-team All-Southland Conference selection. “The past few seasons were tough, but this makes it all worthwhile. I’m excited to get a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament.”
José Bargues He returned to Spain in February and did it for vforget your home. “For me Valencia is everything, I knew that if he called me one day, he would return without hesitation.” Gone left a life experience in America, where he trained the Orlando City U19. By Mestalla, in different departments, he was from 2006 to 2015, when he migrated to Ibiza to launch the project chaired by Amadeo Salvo and then packed up to the Americas. He Valenciado today two months, entrusted him with the mission of saving the category, a team that has not won since October and a project that he knows perfectly because he was coach of the German school, genesis of the current black and white team. But the Covid-19 crisis caught him with the suitcase still undone and in decline.Are you afraid that the competition cannot be resumed and that you intend to consider the current classification as good?That is something that we do not contemplate and that nobody should consider, because it would be unfair to validate a classification that would not fit the reality of a season. Luis Aragonés said that the last 10 days put each team in their place and we lack 80% to play. This team is far superior to what the classification says today.What deadlines do you think the teams will need?Eight days remain and could be played in four to five weeks. But that effort is twice as much as the soccer players are used to. Playing two games a week is unusual for them. From the fourth game we do not know how your body can react. We will need more than six weeks, but we will do as instructed. We have been told that we will wait to see what happens with the First and Second Division to see what the rest of us do. And what do they do in the meantime?Basically physical work to prevent injury. We seek that the muscular impact is as little as possible. Soccer is not a gym and although we have set the time of ten in the morning to train all together with video calls and thus monitor each session, we lack 70% of our activity. At least we will try to avoid injuries on the way back.Any positive reading from these days of confinement?Nothing is like what any of us have experienced and when you see so many people die, any human being is affected. But it is personally serving me to put on paper all the ideas I had, because we only had 20 sessions. Players are sure to do well to clear their minds after months without winning. I know that all of them are missing each other a lot and when they see each other again, they will have a crazy desire to train and achieve the goal of salvation.After your visit to the United States, what differences do you see compared to women’s soccer in Spain?I know the methodology in Spain thoroughly and I can assure that we are ahead.Really?Let’s see, let’s differentiate impact methodology. There the leading teams play in large stadiums and there are more licenses. That is the main difference for me, the number of girls who play soccer. But at the organizational level, in terms of methodology, in Spain we are better. There the work of the schools is different from that of the institutes and universities and professional soccer is another world. Here it is all more linear, the players are very professional and we only need more girls to compete and choose.Do you already know what you will say to your players on the way back?That I have missed them so much and that they enjoy playing.