Soccer team kicks off season with 5-0 victory

The soccer team is back on the pitch, and after the season opener this young team is ready for a successful season.

Junior forward Lizzy Karoly scored twice on six shots and had an assist in the season-opening 5-0 win against Stephen F. Austin on Friday night.

“It was important to come out and set the tone for the rest of the season,” Karoly said.

And set the tone is what the team did, scoring twice in the first 10:15 into the match.

“I was very pleased with how we came out,” head coach Dan Abdalla said. “I thought we made a commitment to come out on the attack and put them on their heels. We had been stressing that we need to make a commitment to what we are doing.”

As crucial as it was to begin the season with a win, Abdalla said it wasn’t the most important part of the game.

“It’s more important for our kids to get some confidence in them,” Abdalla said. “It’s good to have (freshman forward Jordan) Calhoun and Karoly confident and knowing they can do what they need to do.”

Calhoun scored on both of her shots in her first career game at the college level.

“She has set a standard now for the rest of her college career, Abdalla said. “If she can get two goals a game, we will be in pretty good shape. She has been training unbelievably hard. It was good to see her get rewarded, and it was good to see her composure.”

Scoring was just one of Calhoun’s goals for the first game.

“I just wanted to come out strong, play hard and score some goals,” Calhoun said.

Abdalla knows it could be a rough start for a team that has 14 freshmen and just three seniors, but he knows the conference isn’t won in the first few games.

“Our goal is to be at our top level of performance when we get to conference,” Abdalla said. “We might have a couple bumps in the road in some of these early games, but they are just going to work and get better in every game.”

Calhoun thinks highly of the rest of her freshman class.

“I think we are really strong,” Calhoun said of the rest of the first year players. “Everyone tries really hard at practice to fight for a spot.”

Karoly, one of just five juniors, also likes the freshman class, but wants to become more of a team leader.

“The incoming freshmen have come in and added a lot to this team,” Karoly said. “Hopefully I can pass what I have learned to the younger ones.”

Another big part of the team is sophomore goalkeeper, Kelsey Walters, who stopped all six shots she faced in the shutout win.

“It’s important for the whole team to know that she can come up with the one or two saves that we need to make it a game,” Abdalla said.

The team will return to action Friday at 7 p.m. at home against Xavier University.