Women’s soccer team to play first game of the season

Zakyra Colvin

The Georgia Southern University’s women soccer team will take on the Indiana State University Sycamores in its first regular season game tomorrow in Terre Haute, In.

After winning the Southern Conference Championship for the first time in GSU history and booking a ticket to the NCAA Tournament, the Eagles enter the season ranked seventh in the 2013 SoCon preseason poll. Brian Dunleavy will take charge of the team in his first season as head coach after two seasons as an assistant.

Entering the season, senior goalkeeper Katie Merson ranks second in active career saves with 246, trailing senior goalkeeper Taylor Mangrum who ranks first with 252 saves. Merson also ranks first among active players in shutouts (14) and wins (17).

Sophomore forward Nora El-Shami led GSU in goals (5) and points (13) as a freshman last season. El-Shami also boasted a shot percentage of .094.

As a team, the Eagles averaged 1.17 goals per game with a shot percentage of .094 while holding their opponents to one goal per contest and a shot percentage of .084.

The team finished last season with a 10-8-5 overall record and 4-6-1 conference record. They return with 23 players, eight of which are starters and added six new players.

Last season, the Sycamores finished with a record of 8-10-3. This preseason the Sycamores finished off its preseason winning both of their exhibition matches over Bowling Green (3-0) and Northern Kentucky (3-1).

Senior midfielder Taylor Reed led the Sycamores in goals (4) and points (9) with senior midfielder/defender Shelby Trover coming close with three goals and nine points.

The defending SoCon champions will also play Big Ten opponent, Indiana University, on Sunday, at 1 p.m. in its second game of the season.

The Eagles have a total of 19 games this season, which includes 10 home games.