South Alabama Junior midfielder Clarissa Hernandez was named to the 2012 National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s NCAA Women’s Division I All-South Region Team.
She led the Jaguars in almost every statistical category in the fall. She led the team in goals with six, assists 5, shots 56, shots on goal 24 and tied with junior Kristyn Thacker in game-winning goals with two. She also finished in the top 10 among Sun Belt Conference players in each of the previous stats.
Hernandez is from Pensacola, Florida.
She scored a goal and added two assists for the Jags in a 4-0 win over ULM in mid-October. It was a single game career high for Hernandez with four points. She also put the Jags ahead of FAU on a free kick in late September.
The Jags finished the season 8-10-3 and earned a berth in the Conference tournament for the second consecutive season.
The University of South Alabama Athletic Director Joel Erdmann announced that the school has named Graham Winkworth head soccer coach on Monday.
Winkworth comes to South Alabama from Division II University of North Alabama after leading them to the NCAA Tournament each of the last four years. Winkworth has spent the last 10 seasons with UNA while posting an overall record of 111-81-8, the most wins for a coach in UNA school history. His team has a record of 65-18-3 over the last four years.
“We considered several highly-qualified candidates as part of our national search,” Erdmann said. “Graham’s record of success, highlighted by his documented ability to build a consistently competitive program, is impressive. We feel he is a tremendous fit to lead our soccer program into the future.”
“I’ve had the chance to work with Dr. Erdmann in the past, I really enjoyed that experience so I am looking forward to working together again” Winkworth stated. “When I came down and visited, I saw that there were lovely facilities. Everyone that I met within the department was so friendly, it seems like they are all happy in that environment. I thought I would like to be a part of that and am very excited to be joining the staff.”
His recent run of success began during the 2009 season when UNA went 19-4-1 and set a program record for wins in a season and earned the schools first berth in the Gulf South Conference tournament since 1999 and the first-ever NCAA tournament appearance for the Lions. They would go on and win their opening match. The 2009 season would mark an 11 win increase over the previous season and would be the biggest improvment in the nation on his way to being voted the Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year.
Then in 2010 the Lions finished with a 16-4-1 mark while going 6-1 in the conference and returning to the NCAA tournament. The 2011 season they would post a 17-4 mark while going 6-1 in the conference again while earning a share of the regular-season title.
Winkworth led the program to the conference tournament title with wins over UAH, Valdosta State and also ended West Florida’s 54 match conference win streak.
Last season the Lions went 13-6-1 and 6-2-1 in the conference to advance to the title match of the conference tournament and won its NCAA Tournament first-round match against Valdosta State.
During his time at UNA the school produced the first two All-Americans in school history as well as 33 all-GSC selections.
“The key was definitely the people,” Winkworth said of his success at UNA. “When I started working at North Alabama, we didn’t have quite the funding that they have now. Dr. Erdmann put some things into place before he left, and Mr. [Mark] Linder continued that process. That enabled me to bring in some amazing people, I have been so lucky these last few years to work with and coach some fantastic individuals and lovely young ladies. They were able to create a family-type environment, and with that the girls wore the shirt with pride and would run through brick walls for me.”
“I’m very thankful and very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with such amazing young ladies,” he continued. “It’s going to be difficult leaving these girls because they are fantastic young women, but I know that they will continue to be successful because of that.”
Winkworth is a native of Reading, England and is a 2000 graduate of the University of Central Lancashire. He earned his master’s degree from UNA in 2005 and last fall earned his United States Soccer Federation A license.
His coaching career began in England with Preston North End Football Club as an assistant with the Center of Excellence before serving as the assistant men’s and women’s coach at Cumberland (TN) during the 2000 season. He was then an assistant at Central Arkansas for two years before taking the position at UNA.
South Alabama Athletic Director Joel Erdmann announced that the University will not renew the contract for head soccer coach Mike Varga and that a national search for his replacement will begin immediately.
Varga has been the head coach at South Alabama for the last 14 seasons and compiled a 121-131-26 record over that time period. He also led them to a share of the 2000 Sun Belt Conference regular-season title. He also led them to the championship match in the 2005 conference tournament.
Coach Varga has a record of 186-155-32 in his 18 seasons as a head coach. He was previously the head coach at Lincoln Memorial in Tennessee.
The Jags were 8-10-3 this season and hosted the Sun Belt Conference soccer championship tournament at The Cage on campus. The Jags, a #7 seed in the eight team tournament, were eliminated in the first round by Middle Tennessee State.
“Mike has been a loyal and trustworthy member of the University and Jaguar Athletics,” Erdmann said. “We deeply appreciate his service and wish him the best in all future endeavors.”
“We will conduct a national search beginning immediately,” he continued. “The search is wide open and and we will pursue the best-qualified candidate for our program.”
The Lady Jags fell to Middle Tennessee State on Wednesday night at The Cage in the first round of the Sun Belt Championship tournament. But they did not go down without a fight.
Being down 2-0, junior forward Linsey Snavely cut the lead in half with 13 minutes left in the match but could not find another goal to even the match before time ran out.
MTSU opened the match with seven unanswered shots on goal and three corner kicks before they were able to put one in the net. The first goal was a 40 yard shot that the USA Goalkeeper could not get her hands on.
In the 63rd minute, they doubled their lead.
“Going down two goals made it tough for us,” said USA head coach Mike Varga. “The first goal was a great shot, You have to take your hat off for that finish. We turned the ball over and gave them an open chance on the second goal, but we kept fighting.”
“I’m proud of the girls for continuing to fight back and getting that goal back, but it’s disappointing to end the season like this.”
The Jags fell to MTSU by the same score in Tennessee on October 14. Going into the match the Blue Raiders were ranked third in the nation in goals per game (3.12).
After a day off the tournament will continue on Friday with #1 seed North Texas taking on #4 seed Western Kentucky at 4pm. Then at 7pm #2 seeded MTSU faces #3 seeded FIU. The winners of those two games will face each other on Sunday for the Sun Belt Championship.
The Sun Belt Soccer Championships begin today on the campus of South Alabama at The Cage. This is the fifth time USA has hosted the tournament and the first time since 2007.
Four matches will be played today with #1 North Texas vs #8 FAU opening up play at 10am, then #4 WKU vs #5 Arkansas State at 1pm, #3 FIU vs #6 Troy at 4pm. The fourth and final match of the opening day will be the #7 seed South Alabama Jagaurs looking to knock off the #2 seed Middle Tennessee State Blue Raider.
In their previous match against MTSU earlier this season the Jags came out with a 2-1 loss.
The Sun Belt Conference released the seeding for the upcoming soccer championships that will be hosted by the University of South Alabama that begin this week. The championships will run from Wednesday through Sunday at The Cage.
Florida International, Middle Tennessee State and North Texas were each crowned 2012 Sun Belt Conference regular season champions on Friday after each team finished the year with 25 points. It is the first time in the conference’s history that they have crowned three schools as champions.
North Texas earned the top seed in the tournament by winning the three-team tiebreaker over MTSU and FIU. North Texas tied FIU and defeated MTSU giving the Mean Green four points. While MTSU defeated FIU and lost to North Texas for three points. FIU earned one point for tying with North Texas.
South Alabama is a seven seed and will face the #2 seed MTSU at 7pm on Wednesday. South Alabama, being the tournament’s host, was allowed to choose it’s quarterfinal match time.
Here are the seedings of the eight teams that will compete this week.
- North Texas (13-4-2, 8-1-1 SBC)
- Middle Tennessee State (13-4-1, 8-1-1 SBC)
- Florida International (11-5-2, 8-1-1 SBC)
- Western Kentucky (11-4-3, 6-1-3 SBC)
- Arkansas State (11-7-1, 5-4-1 SBC)
- Troy (9-9-2, 4-5-1 SBC)
- South Alabama (8-9-3, 3-5-2 SBC)
- Florida Atlantic (5-12, 3-7 SBC)
Wednesday, Oct. 31
Match 1: 10AM – #1 UNT vs #8 FAU
Match 2: 1PM – #4 WKU vs #5 Arkansas State
Match 3: 4PM – #3 FIU vs #6 Troy
Match 4: 7PM – #2 MTSU vs #7 South Alabama
Friday Nov. 2:
Match 5: 4PM – Match 5 Winner vs Match 2 Winner
Match 6: 7PM – Match 3 Winner vs Match 4 Winner
Sunday Nov 4:
Championship Match: 1PM Match 5 Winner vs Match 6 Winner
The South Alabama Jaguar soccer team concluded their Sunday match with Louisiana-Lafayette with a 1-1 draw. The Jags (8-8-3, 3-4-2 SBC) fell behind in the 27th minute when the Ragin’ Cajuns made a kick from outside 18 yards.
Fifteen minutes into the second half the Jags tied the match when Linsey Snavely’s corner kick was headed in by Shawn Meach. This kept the Jags in sixth place in the conference and in the Sun Belt Conference Championships.
The Jags will host Troy on Friday for a match that is scheduled for 7pm on Friday, October 26th at The Cage. Troy is 8-9-2 on the year and 3-5-1 in SBC play. The Jags hold a slight edge, 4-3-1, all-time against Troy. All matches at The Cage are free to the public.
South Alabama women’s soccer opened the first weekend of the season by splitting their first two games.
They recorded their first win of the season by defeating Nicholls State 2-1 on Friday but fell to Mercer 1-0 on the road on Sunday to open the season with a 1-1-0 record.
The Jags next opponent, Georgia Military Junior College is 3-2 on the season with wins over Ellsworth Community College, Arkansas Baptist College and North Carolina Tech. They had an open date this weekend before traveling to Mobile for the game on October 10.
Also, starting this week, multi-year season ticket renewals begin. The USA Ticket Office announced on Friday that they will be offering Jags season ticket holders the chance to lock in their 2009 rates for the 2010 season over the course of the next month. Starting on Monday, renewal letters will be sent out to all fans who chose to sign up for the three-year season ticket plan. This plan allows fans to guarantee the same price for their seats next fall by paying 50% of their balance by November 2.
Fans with season tickets who have not yet signed up for this plan are still able to if they contact the ticket sales office before November 2.
The Jags will kickoff Saturday at 11:30am against NJCAA #17 ranked Georgia Military JC at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Saturday, October 10.
Sun Belt Football:
Arkansas State traveled to #13 Iowa and came close to having an upset. Scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter Arkansas State tried to rally, but a field goal by Iowa in the same quarter was the difference as the Hawkeyes stay undefeated 24-21.
In a high scoring game, Florida International traveled to UL-Monroe but could not get their first win of the season and lost 48-35.
Also winless Florida Atlantic hosted Wyoming but could not notch their first win either as Wyoming bested them in a close 30-28 game.
Currently the Sun Belt standings: UL-Monroe (3-2, 2-0), MTSU (3-1, 1-0), Troy (2-2, 1-0), UL-Lafayette (2-2, 0-0), Western Kentucky (0-4, 0-0), Arkansas State (1-3, 0-1), North Texas (1-3, 0-1), Florida Atlantic 0-4, 0-1) and Florida International (0-4, 0-0).
On Friday the Jags played their first home conference game of the season when they hosted Western Kentucky in The Cage. However the Jags fell 2-0 to the lady Hilltoppers. The loss dropped the Jags to 2-8-1 on the season and are still winless in the Sun Belt at 0-2-1, while the Hilltoppers improve to 7-3-1 on the season and 2-1-0 in the Sun Belt.
Coach Vargas said the the team had problems with sickness this week. “We had eight players at practice this week, because of the flu and sickness. I told the team I didn’t want that to be an excuse or used as a crutch. We just didn’t do the little things we needed to do to be successful today.”
The Jaguars are scheduled to play Middle Tennessee at 1pm today. The Jags will be on the road next weekend to play North Texas at 7pm on Friday and Denver at noon on Sunday.
The Jags dropped three matches this week. On Monday the Jags dropped their match in Troy in straight sets (18-25, 23-25, 20-25). Then on Friday the Jags lost again in straight sets at Arkansas State (19-25, 14-25, 10-25). On Saturday the Jags lost 3-1 against University of Arkansas-Little Rock (16-25, 17-25, 25-16, 16-25).
With the three losses, the Jags fall to 9-9 overall but stay winless in the Sun Belt at 0-5.
Next weekend the Jags will host three opponents in three days. On Friday they play UL-Lafayette at 5pm, then University of New Orleans at 5pm on Saturday, then UL-Monroe at 1pm on Sunday.
The 2009 Coors Classic schedule was released on Monday. The December 19 matchup will be a doubleheader on CSS the University and the GMAC Bowl announced Monday.
The first game will tip-off at 5:30pm with South Alabama taking on UAB which will be followed by Kansas State facing the University of Alabama 30 minutes after game one concludes.
On Friday night the Lady Jaguar soccer team dropped its first Sun Belt Conference game 4-3 in Jonesboro, Arkansas to Arkansas State in overtime. However Katie Berry, USA’s goalkeeper, broke the teams single-game saves record with 18 saves against Arkansas State.
USA fell to 2-7-0 (0-1-0 in the SBC) after the loss. The Jags took and early 1-0 lead in just the sixth minute of the match on a Landi Wilson goal. But ASU would score two goals before the end of the first half to take a 2-1 lead. The Jags would answer back and tie the game 2-2 with a Wilson assist to Brandi Smith’s goal in the 49th minute.
ASU would score again to regain the lead 3-2 in the 66th minute before a second goal by Smith in the 75th minute to tie the game again at 3-3.
In overtime, ASU would score the game-winner off of a corner kick in the 96th minute.
On Sunday the Jags played the University of Arkansas-Little Rock to a tie in Little Rock, Arkansas. UALR who is 3-6-1 for the season and 0-1-1 in the Sun Belt gained a two goal advantage into halftime leading the Jags 2-0. The first goal happened in the first minute of the game with the second coming in the 36th minute.
However the Jags scored to tie the game in the second half with a goal in the 82nd minute and again in the 84th minute by Liz Clark and Brandi Smith respectively. But neither team could pull out a win and thus the match ended in a tie, 2-2.
The Lady Jags (2-7-1, 0-1-1 in the SBC) will return to Mobile to take on fellow Sun Belt opponent Western Kentucky on October 2nd with kickoff scheduled for 7pm at The Cage.
On Friday, the Jaguars volleyball team also opened their Sun Belt schedule against Florida Atlantic in Jag Gym. However the Jags would fall in straight sets (22-25, 20-25, 24-26).
Then on Sunday hosted Florida International at Jag Gym and fell for the second straight match, again in straight sets (15-25, 15-25, 17-25).
After these two losses, the Jags fell to 9-6 on the season and 0-2 in the Sun Belt after opening conference play.
The Jags will travel to Troy for a 7pm match.