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Soccer Charges Into Spring Season

David Collins, Athletics Communications Assistant

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LAFAYETTE – After signing a stellar recruiting class the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns women's soccer team has gotten back to work in preparation for the 2018 fall season as they've kicked off their 2018 spring season.

Louisiana Head Coach Scot Wieland (On Spring Goals):
"The spring is all about getting stronger and the team has already been doing that with our strength coach Candice Walls and I've seen a big difference already.  Now that we're into our practices is all about working on our scheme and working on getting the players prepared to work with the tactics we're going to use during the fall. 
"The team is progressing in the right way and we're just trying to work the best we can in the small frame of things that we've got, since we haven't gotten our new class in just yet, except for our two early-enrollees.  Psychologically our goal is to work on our mentality, and for us to get tougher in that aspect.  I think we struggled slightly last season working through the emotional ups and downs going through the games last season, so this spring I'd really like to prepare the women on our team to be ready for that."
Louisiana Graduate Assistant Mark Hiller (On Spring Goals):
"We'd really like to work on our combination play in the final third and work on a lot of individual development as well. During the fall it's all about team tactics, so during the spring it's great to get a lot of individual work in with each player to help improve their skills."
FIVE CHANCES TO SEE OTHER COMPETITION: Through the spring season the Cajuns will play five games spread throughout the three-month spring season.  It's an opportunity to break up the training sessions and get a chance to get out on the pitch to see other teams' formations and skills.
Feb. 24: at Southeastern Louisiana
Mar. 3: at Stephen F. Austin
Mar. 8: vs. Lamar (Ragin' Cajuns Soccer/Track Facility)
Mar. 18: vs. Alumni (Ragin' Cajuns Soccer/Track Facility)
Mar. 24: at ULM

Wieland (On Playing Spring Games):
"It's great to get on the field and face other competition and with the numbers we're working with everyone's going to get some quality minutes.  It gives a lot of players, who might not have played all that much last season, the opportunity to get on the field and play within the frameworks of our tactics for next fall.  Getting a lot of playing time is what the spring season is all about, so playing other teams is great."
Hiller (On Playing Spring Games):
"The spring can be hard because you just practice and practice, but with the games we have there's a break in that and we get to play some other teams.  Last year the spring was great because the women who didn't play that fall season, got a lot of minutes under their belt and improved going into the 2017 fall season.  We've got five games in the spring and it's important for the women to play in games and not just practice all the time because it keeps them motivated to get better."
FALL BEGINS IN OXFORD: Louisiana will kick off their 2018 season in Oxford, Miss., on Aug. 17 when they face Ole Miss under the lights.  They'll open up the Ragin' Cajuns Soccer/Track Facility hosting Sam Houston on Aug. 19 and Northwestern State on Aug. 24.  One other highlight before starting Sun Belt Conference play is the fact that the Cajuns will play their second SEC school in the first month of the season when they head to Auburn, Ala., on Aug. 26 to face the Auburn Tigers.
Louisiana kicks off conference action with a visit to Troy, Ala., to face the Troy Trojans on Sept. 14, and they'll open up their home slate of conference games by hosting Texas State on Sept. 21.

FOLLOWING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS: Follow the Cajuns on twitter @RaginCajunsSOC for updates on the team's progress through the spring and summer, along with any news on the results from their spring games and previews for the 2018 season as the fall approaches.