first_imgNo. 4 Central Arkansas – 10-9-0 (7-4-0 SLC) – First Game: vs. No. 5 Houston Baptist, 5 p.m.The 2016 regular season champions return to Corpus Christi as the fourth-seeded team, carrying with them the second-best defense in the conference. The Bears allowed just nine goals in 11 Southland games with a 0.81 goals against average. UCA struggled to create the same offensive firepower that helped win the league last year with an unbeaten season (10-0-1), but the team brings two returning all-conference selections to this season’s tournament in senior defender Stacia Carroll and senior midfielder Alex Moore. The quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the tournament will be streamed live on the Southland Conference Digital Network, available at and the league’s apps, available for phones, tablets, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku. The championship round will be an exclusive presentation of ESPN3, available via and the ESPN app. No. 2 Stephen F. Austin – 11-7-0 (8-3-0 SLC) – First Game: vs. No. 7 Sam Houston State, 11 a.m.The Ladyjacks finished 2017 strong, earning the No. 2 seed while closing the regular season on a 5-1 run. SFA won five-straight regular season titles from 2011-15 and has three tournament titles to its name. The Stephen F. Austin offensive unit ranks third in the league in points (61) and fourth in goals (61) while topping the conference defensively, allowing just eight total goals in 11 Southland contests while posting a second-best six shutouts. No. 8 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi – 6-8-3 (3-6-2 SLC) – First Game: vs. No. 1 Lamar, 8 p.m.The Islanders needed at least a point in their regular season finale to secure the final seed on their home turf and did just that, grinding out a goalless draw with Houston Baptist last Friday. They finished the season with perhaps the toughest stretch of the year, hosting the top two teams McNeese and Lamar back-to-back before traveling to HBU for their finale. After missing out on the tournament in Corpus Christi last season, they will face the top-seeded Cardinals in the first round. No. 6 Abilene Christian – 8-10-0 (6-5-0 SLC) – First Game: vs. No. 3 McNeese, 2 p.m.In ACU’s first season of full Division I eligibility, the 2017 soccer tournament is the program’s first opportunity to earn an automatic NCAA postseason bid. The Wildcats were a formidable side in 2016, finishing in third place with an 8-2-1 league record but were not yet eligible for postseason play. The team earned a pair of First Team All-Conference selections, including the Freshman of the Year in midfielder Christina Arteaga and two-time selection Dylan Owens, a junior forward. Arteaga paced the Wildcat offense, ranking fourth in points (13) and third in goals (six) in league play. No. 3 McNeese – 12-5-1 (8-3-0 SLC) – First Game: vs. No. 6 Abilene Christian, 2 p.m.The Cowgirls possessed one of the stingiest defenses in the conference through 2017, registering seven shutouts in 11 Southland games. McNeese went five consecutive games from Oct. 1-20 without allowing a goal, but lost momentum at the end of the regular season, dropping its final two road matches while allowing seven goals. The Cowgirls come to Corpus Christi with multiple conference award winners, headlined by Player and Forward of the Year Savannah LaRicci. The senior forward led conference play in shots (44), goals (10) and points (25). McNeese also brings the Defender of the Year in senior Gabi D’Alesandro, Goalkeeper of the Year Emma Roccaforte and a pair of additional all-conference picks in senior defender Nikki Schaaf and junior midfielder Nola Prickett. No. 5 Houston Baptist – 7-6-3 (6-3-2 SLC) – First Game: vs. No. 4 Central Arkansas, 5 p.m.The Huskies look to defend their 2016 tournament title and are no strangers to winning in the postseason as a lower seed. As a four-seed last season, HBU knocked off No. 1 Central Arkansas 2-0 in the semifinals and defeated No. 2 SFA in the championship game 1-0. The team brings a well-rounded attack, with two all-conference picks ranking in the top 10 in shots, goals and points; senior midfielder Elleee Hall and junior forward Autumn Wildung each netted five goals in 11 Southland contests. Lamar enters as the top seed after claiming the regular season crown while Houston Baptist, the No. 5 seed, looks to defend its tournament title from 2016. The Huskies won last year’s tournament as a four-seed, knocking off the top two teams, Central Arkansas and Stephen F. Austin, en route to their second Southland tournament championship. No. 1 Lamar – 15-3-1 (10-1-0 SLC) – First Game: vs. No. 8 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 8 p.m.Lamar secured a solo regular season championship and the top seed with a 4-1 drubbing of McNeese in the team’s regular season finale. It is the first Southland title in program history. The Cardinals enter the tournament with six all-conference picks and the league’s top offensive unit, ranking first in points (78), goals (26) and assists (26). The Cardinals are currently on a nine-game win streak, last dropping a decision on Sept. 22 to defending Southland champion Central Arkansas – their lone conference loss. 2017 Southland Conference Soccer Tournament HomepageCORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The 2017 Southland Conference Soccer Tournament gets underway tomorrow at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Jack Dugan Stadium. The top eight teams at the end of the regular season will meet in the single-elimination tournament beginning Wednesday at 11 a.m. CT. No. 7 Sam Houston State – 7-8-2 (4-5-2 SLC) – First Game: vs. No. 2 Stephen F. Austin, 11 a.m.Sam Houston State finished the regular season in grueling fashion, playing two consecutive double overtime games to close out 2017. The Bearkats dropped their final contest 2-1 to archrival SFA last Friday but have an immediate rematch, facing the Ladyjacks in the opening game of the conference tournament. Sam Houston garnered a pair of all-conference selections – sophomore forward Carlota Suarez Crespo and senior midfielder Beryl Smith. Crespo registered 10 points throughout the Southland season.last_img

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