Ed. Note: WELCOME BACK PITTMAN!
So, uh.. I guess I left you guys kind of unceremoniously a while ago. I said I had professional and family obligations, and that I was going to be moving to a place with less internet access than I previously had. I moved to the sticks and spent a lot of time ushering Little Miss ATVS into young girl-hood. She is six years old, now, and is still being raised by parents with split college-sports loyalties.
That's right, kids. Marriage and child-rearing is about compromise.
Well, guess what!? I moved! Back to Louisiana! And I have high speed internet again! And government benefits!
So, I came back here and discovered, much to my consternation, that the blog is doing just great. Seriously, it's better now than it's ever been. I want to get back into it, but I had a bit of a hard time figuring out what I can add. Then it occurred to me that Little Miss ATVS likes going to sporting events, particularly women's sports.
She's hardly a big sports fan. Frankly she'd really rather that the television never displayed football, but she likes getting dressed up and yelling. It's a start.
Then, I discovered that one of my parents' neighbors in Baton Rouge is a member of the women's soccer team (I won't say which). An idea was hatched. I played a bit of soccer for my high school (poorly, but I played). I am reasonably familiar with the sport. I have a readily-available companion to go to Friday night games with me. I will cover soccer for the blog, and I will do it enthusiastically.
So there we have it. I will be your soccer correspondent. I will attend home games, and do my best to follow along with away games (though I have no idea how yet). I will describe the games and the environment. The whole 16 yards.
A detailed preview will follow in the near future, but for now here are some high points:
- The Tigers were average last year. They finished 9-8-4, and 5-6 in the SEC. They made the SEC tournament, and lost in the first round.
- They had a very solid defense, allowing 1.29 goals against per game. This was good for 8th in the conference.
- However, they only scored 1.33 goals per game, good only for 10th in the conference. The top third of the conference offenses scored just under or just over 2 goals per game. The team was outshot on the season.
- As you might guess from the above, the team lacked dynamic scoring. The team had two players co-lead the team in goals, with four goals each. To crack the top 10 in the conference, you needed to score 8 goals. Incidentally, those two scorers (Fernanda Pina and Alex Arlitt) return for this year
- The team scored one of the most celebrated recruiting classes in the country, signing 5 players who have experience in either U-20 or U-17 national teams for their respective countries (Canada, Mexico, New Zealand). It is truly an outstanding freshman (plus one junior transfer) class that will make the team instantly better.
- Soccer media has noticed this recruiting class, and has increased our expectations in the SEC, from the bottom half of the conference, to the top third. There are reasons to be excited about this team.
- The season starts August 16 with an exhibition against Nicholls State. Admission to all games is free.
So, I'm looking forward to this and to the season. Maybe I'll post pictures of me and Little Miss ATVS at the games.