|UALR Soccer >> GAME 1
||UALR (0-0-0) vs. Southern (0-0-0)
||Sun., Aug. 25, 2013 | 1 p.m.
||Little Rock, Arkansas | Coleman Sports & Recreation Complex
LITTLE ROCK - UALR opens a new era of soccer on Sunday as the Trojans take on Southern at the Coleman Sports & Recreation Complex.
• UALR enters the 2013 campaign with a new head coach in Adrian Blewitt and a renewed hope to compete in the Sun Belt Conference.
• With the top three finishers in the league from last season — North Texas, Middle Tennessee and FIU — all departing, the SBC should be wide open and very competitive this year. New to the SBC this year are Texas State and Georgia State.
• The Trojans’ 2013 schedule includes 10 home games and seven on the road. The team will play nine non-conference matches including road tilts at Ole Miss, Austin Peay and Murray State. UALR will host Southern, UAPB, UMKC, Missouri State, Louisiana Tech and UAB before Sun Belt action begins.
• The Trojans return their top four point scorers from 2012 in Ariel Galletti (5-3–13), Alyson Rohane (2-1–5), Paige Mason (2-1–5) and Adrianna Queen (2-0–4). Also back are seniors Ashley Barksdale and Holly Holland.
• UALR has 14 newcomers on the roster this year including three from Sweden, two from England and one from Germany. The Trojans also pick up two upperclassmen transfers from Florida universities.
• The Jaguars, based in Baton Rouge, La., play in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Their head coach, Courtnie Prather, is a former UALR goalkeeper in her first year leading Southern. Prather, who played for the Trojans from 1996-98, remains fifth all-time at UALR with a 2.32 goals against average and seventh all-time with 159 saves. Prather is also seventh with 2,115 career minutes.
• The Jaguars were 1-11-1 last season, finishing with a 1-2-1 record in conference play. Their lone victory came against Texas Southern in their season finale.
• UALR and Southern have never met. The Trojans are 10-2 lifetime against members of the SWAC including a 4-1 record against UAPB, a 2-0 record against Alabama A&M, a 1-0 record against Alcorn State and a 1-1 record against Grambling.
• Southern will play its first game of the season on the road Friday against Nicholls State.
A WIN AGAINST SOUTHERN WOULD...
...start the Trojans with a 1-0 record for the first time since 2011 when they defeated Missouri State 3-1...improve UALR’s record against SWAC teams to 11-2...be the team’s first victory all-time against Southern...be the team’s second non-conference win in its last three non-conference games...give coach Adrian Blewitt his first victory at the Division I level.
The Trojans ended their 2012 campaign with a 3-1 loss at home against Arkansas State. UALR was 2-16-0 overall with a non-conference victory over UAPB and a SBC win against FAU, which has also left the league for Conference USA.
UALR went 2-7 at home but 0-9 in road contests last season. The team missed the conference tournament for the third consecutive year.
Ariel Galletti led all Trojan players with five goals and three assists for a combined 13 points. Five other players scored goals and nine total had at least one point. Of those nine, six are back with the team this season.
Goalies Shantel Wittke and Natalie Marsh combined to bring UALR to the league lead in saves with 9.17 per game and 165 overall. Neither returns to the team in 2013.
The Trojans got a 2-1 victory over Christian Brothers in their only exhibition contest of the season on Wednesday night. Senior Paige Mason opened the UALR scoring in the 55th minute with a tap-in goal on a cross from Dakotah Sparrman. Kayla Turner scored the game-winner with 10 minutes left in the contest. Sara Cavanagh and Kylie Wilson played goal for the Trojans in the game. The Trojans defeated Lyons College 2-1 in an exhibition last year and now have a streak of two consecutive seasons with an exhibition victory before the regular season begins.
Two members of the UALR soccer team took home preseason honors in early August as Ariel Galletti was named to the Sun Belt Preseason All-Conference First Team and Betsy Blackwood earned Second Team accolades from CollegeSportsMadness.com. Galletti, a junior from San Luis Obispo, Calif., concluded her sophomore season as the Trojans’ leading scorer with 13 points on five goals and three assists. Blackwood, a junior from Tucson, Ariz., started 17 of the Trojans’ 18 games, racking up nearly 1,400 minutes of playing time.
UALR was picked to finish eighth in the conference by the Sun Belt coaches in their preseason poll released Tuesday. The Trojans got 23 points in the voting, six ahead of last-place ULM.
UALR IN SEASON OPENERS
The Trojans hold a lifetime record of 10-16 in season openers, though one of those losses was forfeited by the opponent afterward to give UALR an actual record of 11-15 in its first game of a season. The Trojans’ last victory in a season opener came in 2011 when they defeated Missouri State 3-1. Adrianna Queen had one of the team’s goals, and Alyson Rohane had UALR’s only assist.
NEW MAN IN CHARGE
Head coach Adrian Blewitt takes over the reins of the UALR program this season. Blewitt comes to Little Rock with 15 years of head coaching experience for men and women at the Division 2 level. Blewitt has compiled a 167-66-12 overall record at Lees-McRae College (Banner Elk, N.C.) and Lenoir-Rhyne University (Hickory, N.C.) including a 36-5-3 mark in his final two seasons as head coach at Lenoir-Rhyne.
MINDING THE NET
The Trojans welcome three new goaltenders to the team in 2013, and all will be new to soccer at the Division 1 level. Junior Kylie Wilson played at Division II West Florida in 2011 and 2012, seeing action in two games for a combined 32 minutes in 2011. UALR is also the new home of freshmen Shara Robbins — a Hot Springs native — and Sara Cavanagh from Maryland. All three will be vying for playing time as the season begins.
NEWCOMERS -- INTERNATIONAL FLAIR
• The Trojans’ roster is filled with 14 newcomers this season, making up more than half of the team.
• Of those 14 new athletes, 11 are freshmen, two are juniors (Madison Hartley, Kylie Wilson) and one is a senior (Andrea Letzel).
• Six of the 14 newcomers come to Little Rock from across the Atlantic Ocean, giving the team a distinct international flair this season. Three Swedes (Linnea Kogsta, Mathilda Torstensson and Malin Westerberg) join the team as freshmen. Two freshmen from England (Hayley Fowle, Olivia Goddard) are new to UALR as well. The lone new senior, Andrea Letzel, hails from Mainz, Germany.
• The two juniors transferring to the program come from the Sunshine State. Hartley (North Florida) and Wilson (West Florida) played together at the club soccer level and have already earned some college experience.
• The rest of the incoming class includes athletes from across the country: Sara Cavanagh (Bowie, Md.); Hali Long (St. Charles, Mo.); Shara Robbins (Hot Springs, Ark.); Dakotah Sparrman (Apple Valley, Minn.); Kayla Turner (Sterling Heights, Mich.) and Mikayla Uyokpeyi (Garland, Texas).
CAREER NUMBERS WATCH
• Ariel Galletti’s next goal will be her 10th.
• Holly Holland is 73 minutes away from 2,000 in her career.
• Adrianna Queen’s next goal (12) will move her to 12th all-time in UALR history. She is four goals shy of entering the top 10.
• Alyson Rohane’s next goal will be her fifth.
UALR has just a one-day break before its second game of the season against UAPB on Tuesday. The Trojans and the Lions will kick off at the Coleman Sports & Recreation Complex at 7 p.m.