Soccer Squads Begin 2009 Campaign at Mayo Field
Friday, August 21, 2009
SHREVEPORT-The Centenary soccer teams are set to begin play next week as both the Gents and Ladies square off in their season openers at Mayo Field.

The Gents will take the field first as they prepare to face Letourneau in an exhibition game on Monday, August 24 at 5 p.m. Head Coach David Orr and his squad look to build on a successful 2008 finish as the Gents won their final two games of last season.

"Preseason has been mostly getting the players touches and fitness up, as well as building team chemistry. Last season we let too many one-goal games end in a loss; so this preseason, we are trying to prepare ourselves to be stronger down the stretch," said Orr.

Centenary will welcome back sophomore John McHugh, who led the Gents with three goals and eight points and garnered All-Summit second team and All-Newcomer team honors. They will roster 23 returners and seven newcomers this season.

"We look to improve our versatility and team depth over the course of training camp."

Following the game against Letourneau, Centenary will play host to the UT-Tyler on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the final exhibition game of the preseason.

"The upcoming season schedule is a good one, and if we meet the challenges, we'll find our success. Our attitude is to embrace the challenges that lie ahead with confidence and motivation," said Orr.

The Ladies will open 2009 with Letourneau on Friday, August 28 at 7 p.m. at Mayo Field in their first regular-season game. The original game was scheduled to be in Longview, Texas, but has recently been moved to Mayo Field on the campus of Centenary.

Like the Gents, Head Coach Chase Wooten and the Ladies will bring back the majority of their 2008 squad, including leading scorer, sophomore Katie Valdez, who tallied five goals and 12 points. Also back for the Ladies in goal are senior Kate Donnelly and sophomore Deb Hill.

"Preseason has been good; we are much deeper than a year ago and much healthier.  The girls are working hard and starting to come together. We have a lot to work on going into conference play.  I am looking forward to seeing how far we can push the group to get the results we all want.  We are talented enough to really surprise some teams this year," said Wooten.

"Our largest challenge is going to be staying healthy.  We lost Candace (Rushing) last spring for this year and that is a big loss.  We cannot afford to have many other injuries like that.  However, if we can stay healthy and maintain confidence, we will challenge every opponent."

Following the home game against Letourneau, the Ladies will travel to take on Arkansas-Little Rock on Sunday with a 1 p.m. start time.