STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State opens the Aaron Gordon era of Bulldog soccer Wednesday morning when his 22-member squad begins preparation for the 2013 season.
The Bulldogs kick off a run of 15 practices leading up to the team’s 2013 debut, an Aug. 16 home exhibition against South Florida.
“We are really excited to get started. We have a lot of questions coming in, and hopefully they will be resolved the next 15 practices before we play South Florida,” Gordon said. “We hope to be able to get a lot of those answered and have a good idea where we are headed with a good mix of veterans and some talented newcomers.”
Senior Elisabeth Sullivan, a second team All-SEC selection last season, paces the Mississippi State attack after setting the school’s career goals record with a 12-score junior campaign.
Defensively, State returns starters Morganne Grimes, Shannen Jainudeen and Shelby Jordan to the back line. Junior CJ Winship and freshman Meara Johnson will compete to replace Skylar Rosson between the posts.
Gordon will mainly put his squad through scrimmage action on Wednesday to allow the veterans the opportunity to get acquainted with a group of 10 talented newcomers.
“Tomorrow we will do a lot of playing because a lot of them haven’t touched a ball in a structured environment for a few months,” Gordon said. “We want to get the acquainted with a soccer ball and each other again before we start getting into what we think our needs will be in the season.”
“I want to see a good attitude and effort. I also want to see us make progress from where we left off in the spring,” Gordon added.
Kickoff for the Bulldogs’ exhibition match against the Bulls is set for 7 p.m. Admission to all MSU home soccer matches is free.Fans can follow the Bulldogs this season through Twitter (@HailStateSOC), Instagram (HailStateSOC) and Facebook (Facebook.com/HailStateSOC) in addition to the team’s official site, www.hailstate.com/soccer.