Soccer Tabbed Sixth, Four Named to Watch List
Head Coach Karen Hoppa during an NCAA Tournament game at USC on November 25, 2016.
(Photo: Dan Avila)
Coming off the most successful season in school history, the Auburn Soccer program is set to capitalize on an amazing 2016 run that ended with an appearance in the Elite 8 beginning Friday at home against South Alabama.
With the season drawing closer, Head Coach Karen Hoppa and other SEC coaches expressed their thoughts on the preseason conference outlook, and the conference's best players. According to all 14 coaches around the league, Auburn has been picked as the sixth best team in the SEC. Arkansas, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas A&M, and projected league champion, Florida. Last season, Auburn finished second in the league, after being projected to finish third.
SEC Coaches also voted on the best players in the SEC, and four Tigers were named to the preseason watch list. Two senior's in Forward Kristen Dodson and Midfielder Courtney Schell, junior Goalkeeper Sarah Le Beau, and sophomore forward/midfielder Bri Folds.
Dodson had an amazing 2016, which saw her record 38 points, with 13 goals and 12 assists in 24 matches. The Aurora, Illinois native garnered SEC and national recognition the week of September 22-25, where she scored four goals and had two assists in Auburn's conference wins over Florida and Georgia. The weekly performance landed her a spot on the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week, as well as SEC and National Player of the Week honors.
Joining Dodson as a senior on the SEC watch list is Courtney Schell. Schell started all 24 matches last season, playing all 90-minutes in 12 of those. She picked up ten points by way of three goals and four assists. In September 22's game at Florida, Schell scored on a header en route to a 3-0 win, the first win in Gainesville in program history.
Junior Sarah Le Beau is entering her third season as the primary goalkeeper for the Tigers. In her career, Le Beau has earned 33 wins, with 13 shutouts, including 67 saves. As a sophomore, Le Beau recorded 2,153 minutes in goal, the seventh highest in the nation.
Bri Folds enters the 2017 season after having a freshman season to remember. Folds started 22 matches, while seeing action in all 24. Folds had the fourth highest point total last season with 19, where she picked up five goals and nine assists. She capped off her freshman campaign with a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team, and also earned a Freshman of the Week honor on October 10 after her two goal, one assist weekend against Kentucky and Mississippi State.
Auburn Soccer opens the 2017 season at home on Friday against South Alabama. Kickoff slated for 6 P.M. at the Auburn Soccer Complex.