#43 Stephen F. Austin Women's Soccer Preview

Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks

Overall Rank: #43
Conference Rank: #1 Southland Conference
#43 Stephen F. Austin Women's Soccer Preview
Stephen F. Austin Team Page


Stephen F. Austin is coming off of its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007. Last season also saw the Ladyjacks win their third Southland Tournament crown and go 17-4 on the season.  The Ladyjacks finished the 2012 regular season with 22 straight home victories dating back to 2009. Their last loss was against UTEP on September 3, 2010 (2-1 OT). Even more impressive, they have not lost a Southland Conference home match since October 11, 2009. The women’s soccer program has brought an unprecedented seven Southland Conference regular-season championships back to Nacogdoches. That total is nearly half of the 15 possible regular-season titles in conference soccer history.

2012 Record: 17-4-0, 8-0-0
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Wally Crittenden

The Ladyjacks are known for their defense and that was shown last season, as the squad had an impressive 13 shutouts. Those 13 shutouts accounted for the team's first 13 wins. The defense gave up five goals total in the other four wins. Luckily for SFA, both goalies that saw action last season return. One goalie, Lacey Lee, finished second in the country with a goals against average of 0.42 and was fourth in the country with a .887 save percentage. As good as the defense is, the offense was just as good, finishing ninth in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 2.48 goals per game.  Two of last year's top scorers, Chelsea Raymond and Zuri Prince, return. Raymond led the squad with 13 goals and 29 points, while Prince had seven goals and 19 points. Prince had five game-winning goals, while Raymond had three on the year.

A challenge for the Ladyjacks will be replacing three-time Southland Player of the Year Kylie Louw. The now-graduated Louw is the only SFA player to be named an All-American in the sport, as she spent her senior season breaking the school record for career points. She finished third in the country in assists last season with 13. But Louw isn't the only big piece missing from last year's team. The Ladyjacks also lose two-time Southland first-team midfielder Laura Sadler, two-time first-team defender Breanne Vernon, second-team defender Leslie Shurtleff, forward Becky Johnson and midfielder Abby Susman.

Final Projection:
Stephen F. Austin has been one of the best programs, if not the best program, in Southland Conference history. With both goailes returning, as well as their top scorer and another strong scorer, there is no doubt that the Ladyjacks can win their eighth regular season title in the conference's 16-year history. The defense should be solid yet again with recruits like Kara Marshall, who comes in with an impressive high school resume that saw her as one of the best players in the Houston area. If Raymond and Price can continue to score like they have in the past, the Ladyjacks won't be waiting five years to make the NCAA Tournament again. The team will be tested in nonconference action, as it faces BCS schools LSU, Houston, Arizona State and Texas, as well as Rice. What might help the squad is that they welcome three of those teams (ASU, LSU, UT) to Nacogdoches, where they haven't lost since 2009.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Chelsea Raymond, Junior, F, 13
Assists: Melissa Gaudet, Senior, MF, 5; Zuri Prince, Junior, F, 5
Shots: Chelsea Raymond, 80
Saves: Lacey Lee, Senior, 55


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