PREVIEW: Alabama State University Soccer

Kendal Manns, Senior Staff Reporter/Writer

The Alabama State University Lady Hornet soccer team is gearing up to defend their Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) title during the 2021-22 season.
Last year, the Hornets raised the SWAC trophy after a 9-3 season that culminated in a 2-2 win (3-1 PKs) over the Grambling State University Tigers. The SWAC preseason poll, voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors, predicts that the Lady Hornets will repeat as conference champions.
Being the predicted SWAC conference champions is partly due to the leadership of the reigning tournament MVP, senior forward McKenna Wiscombe, also named Second-Team Preseason All-SWAC.
One of the most significant changes from last season is the personnel. The Hornets added 11 new players to the squad this season, with many of them being underclassmen.
When asking 16th-year head coach Jodie Smith about the new additions to the team and how they would mesh together, he was adamant about the strength of the team culture, saying, “It’s not about any one player, it’s about the whole team.”
Smith emphasized the importance of the upperclassmen, saying, “Upperclassmen set the tone for what the team will become…by doing the right things on and off the field.”
With games like the exhibition against Troy University on August 13 and the game against Winthrop University on August 20, in which the Hornets lost both 2-3, the younger Hornets are being faced with the “adversities and successes” early that will be important to their development.
With everyone buying into the team culture of being “selfless” and staying focused on the goal, ASU will look to make a run at another title. If they can find their way back to the mountain top of the SWAC, it will be the first time the Hornets will have repeated as champions since the 2016-17 season.
Despite this, the Hornets are not getting ahead of themselves and are taking it one game at a time. Smith’s message to the team is simple, “Last year’s team is last year’s team … Our story is just being written.”