ALEXANDRIA–Newcomers aim to lead the way for the LSUA women’s soccer team, as it looks to win the Red River Athletic Conference regular season title for the first time since 2017.
Five members of the team return from last year’s roster, as the Generals try to build on last year’s 13-4-1 record and trip to the RRAC Tournament. The season begins on Wednesday with a visit from Mobile at 1 p.m. Three of LSUA’s first four contests are at Generals Field.
LSUA returns three of its top goal scorers from last season: Andressa Araujo, Sophie Borhi and Jordan Thibodeaux.
Araujo tied for third on the team in goals with five and tied for second in total points with 16. Two of her goals came in the win over Jarvis Christian on Oct. 10. She played in 17 games, starting 10, attempting 36 shots with 20 of them being on net.
Borhi and Thibodeaux each finished with three goals in 2019.
Borhi, a sophomore forward from Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, played in 18 games, starting 11. She finished with eight total points on the year and registered a career-high in both points and goals when she scored twice in a 10-0 win last season against Alcorn State on Sept. 5.
With the season taking place six months after originally scheduled, Borhi is excited to finally begin the season.
“After waiting for so long, I am beyond excited to begin the season,” Borhi said. “Our team has worked very hard these past few months and I am eager to get out and compete against the other teams.”
A junior from Lafayette, Thibodeaux appeared in six games, starting four. She scored her three goals on just 12 attempts. Three of her seven points came in the win against Central Baptist on Aug. 24.
“We are looking for everyone to help with goals and assists,” Men’s Soccer Coach Michael Poropat said. “But we are looking for Sophie, Jordan and Andressa to take significant strides forward in our attack.”
Sophomore Mia Dupuis is among the newcomers who is expected to have a significant impact for the Generals in 2020. Brisa Rivera Mondragon, a junior from Garland, Texas, is another expected contributor. A transfer from Murray State College, she started 17 out of 18 games. She scored three goals and dished out five assists for 11 points and was named to the 2019 NJCAA Region II Women’s Soccer All Region Team. Melizza Hernandez also came over from Murray State and could make an impact as well.
Dupuis is eager to show what she can do when the Generals begin play against outside competition.
“I believe that I can add intensity to the team and a faster speed of play,” Dupuis said. “I also believe that I come with skills not related to soccer such as nutrition, fitness and knowledge in community service.”
Hannah Carter, a freshman from Breaux Bridge, La., is a freshman who could earn immediate playing time. She was an All-District performer all four seasons, including being named first team as a senior and sophomore.
Carolina Quast and Tatiana Garcia are two more newcomers to watch.
“All of the newcomers have impressed so far and will contribute this year,” Poropat said. “If I was to highlight a couple newcomers, it would be Brisa and Mia. They have incredible work rate and energy that is infectious.”
On defense, Brookelyn Cramer is the only returner from a strong unit that only helped allow 18 goals in as many games and record nine shutouts.
The senior from Pensacola, Fla., appeared in and started all 18 games for the Generals in 2019.
LSUA brought in three transfers–Kassandra Jimenez, Lia Richardson and Rosie Freeman Walters–and two freshman–Anaelle Billaud and Anna Kathryn Brown–to help the defense.
Freeman Walters started in and played in 24 games in her two years at North Iowa Area Community College, while Richardson transferred in from East Central Community College, appearing in 10 games, starting eight.
LSUA will also have a new goalkeeper this season, and three newcomers–Eva Phillips, Alyssa Andrea and Erica Rey–will fight for the starting nod.
Phillips comes from Angelina College, starting 18 games. She recorded 118 saves and posted a goals against average of 1.86 and save percentage of .787 in 2019. Andrea is a freshman from Houston and went to Clear Lake High.
Conference play begins Feb. 27 when the Generals travel to Shreveport for a battle with LSUS. LSUA finishes the season with three consecutive contests at home, ending on March 27 against Southwest.
CUTLINE: Sophie Borhi, one of the leading returning scorers, aiming to lead the Generals to an RRAC championship for the first time since 2017