SIUE Cougars soccer looks to stay on top of the conference
The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women’s soccer team tasted blood last year, and it wants more.
The defending conference champs took the field for the first time this year on Aug. 9 in two preseason games. The Cougars went 1-1, losing to the University of Evansville 1-0 and then claiming a 3-1 victory over Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).
The Cougars then headed to Bloomington, Indiana, to take part in the Hoosier Challenge Cup at the University of Indiana. SIUE fell 4-0 to the No. 13 squad in the country, Clemson University, then beat Cal Poly, 3-2.
In the win over Cal Poly, SIUE was led by Caroline Hoefert, who scored two goals and had an assist in the third goal, scored by MacKenzie Litzsinger.
Head coach Derek Burton told the Metro East Sun that Hoefert has been one of the standout players.
“Caroline has been really good this year,” Burton said. “She has been a leader for us both vocally and in the way she plays. She really responds well to coaching and takes to heart what she is taught.”
Hoefert, a senior from Godfrey, led the Cougars last year with 16 points and was named the Ohio Valley Conference player of the tournament.
She also scored a goal in the Cougars preseason win over IUPUI.
Burton said that now that the team has had a chance to play several games, has can see where the Cougars need to improve as the season continues.
“Overall we want to work on our defensive organization as a team, working on each individual role and their position on the field," he said. "That’s something that develops and unfolds as the season goes, and that’s what we’re starting to learn about ourselves.”
The Cougars have switched to a new formation that has required them to change things defensively. Burton said he can see the team adapting to the new style but allows that it might take some time. Instead of the traditional 4-4-2 formation, the Cougars are playing a 5-3-2 diamond formation.
Burton said he isn’t worried about the Cougars offensively and believes that if the team can shore up its defense, it will have another successful season.
To view the season schedule for the Cougars or to find more information about the team, visit www.siuecougars.com.