SFA Soccer 2012 Preview: Forwards
Aug. 15, 2012
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - In a banner season that saw the 2011 Ladyjack soccer team score a single-season best 60 goals, a vast majority of that production came from the forward position.
"We pride ourselves on getting forward and scoring goals," SFA head coach Tony Amato said. "We felt that was a strength of our team last year and hopefully again this year."
Forty of the 60 goals were by the forward position and no one was as productive than the Southland Conference Freshman of the Year Chelsea Raymond.
Raymond, a native of Irving, Texas, bursted onto the scene by putting together the best offensive individual single-season in SFA history. The MacArthur High School product set the single-season record for goals (17) and points (41), surpassing the marks formerly held by Shahin Pabani in 2004 (15g, 36 p). Raymond, who performed three different hat tricks last season, became the just the fourth Ladyjack to be named the league's Freshman of the Year.
Raymond also showed an ability to use her speed and create scoring opportunities for other as was evident by her seven assists in 2011.
Senior SLC first-teamer Laura Sadler has been a constant force on the outside for the Ladyjacks the last three seasons, amassing 20 career goals and 50 points. Second on the team in goals last season, Sadler is seen by Amato as one of the team's most dependable player.
"Sads is someone who is key to our attack getting forward as a high forward," Amato said. "She's a senior who's been there and can stretch teams wide. We'll rely on her to break teams down off the dribble and she can finish with either foot."
Perhaps one of the x-factors this season will be the play of sophomore Zuri Prince, who already displayed in the exhibition against Prairie View (4 goals) that the 5'8" graduate of Kelly High School should see an expanded offensive role in 2012.
"We're going to transition Zuri into more of a forward role this season," Amato said. "She's come a long way in the last year and has the capability to score goals. She's a physical presence but she's also a quality finisher. We'll look to play her higher up the field.
Brenda Salazar is another forward who has impressed Amato in the preseason. The junior from Sugar Land, Texas scored three goals and recorded two assists last season.
"Salazar is someone who has come a long way in the last year," Amato said. "She's fitter than she's ever been. She always been a technical player but is now more confident than ever."
The final forward is freshman Amanda Fox, who was an all-state selection in 2012 at Klein Oak High School and will try and battle for playing time.