Photo by Charlie Luttrell
Southern Miss soccer team (5-3) hosted Jackson State University (0-7) on Sept. 15.
The Golden Eagle defense kept the Lady Tigers at bay by not allowing any goals and only one shot for the for the first half. Jenny Caracheo had the first goal of the game and her fourth goal of the season 14 minutes into the first half.
Early in the second half at the 50:47 minute mark, Jacky Manteas made the first goal of her career as a Golden Eagle.
“I was glad I could contribute to the win and all of the hard work the ladies have been doing all this season long,” the FIU transfer said.
Head coach Mohammed El-Zare sees the addition of Manteas as a way to add maturity and versatility to the squad.
“She reads the game and has that soccer insider knowledge,” El-Zare said. “She brings in that leadership, that maturity but also allows us to play in different ways. She can play about six different positons, so that brings in a lot of experience and wealth of leadership for us.”
For the remainder of the second half, Southern Miss had six shots while JSU had zero. Kendall Mindnich spent all 90 minutes in the goal earning her another win for the season.
“Everybody on the field has an offensive role and a defensive role. Everybody higher up on the field was able to do their job and keep people from being in our own half,” El-Zare said. “Our back line was very solid from our captain Kaitlin Fayard to Caitlin Pierce to Madisyn Flammia and Keely Hoppmeyer.”
So far in the season, Southern Miss holds a winning non-conference record including two wins over SEC teams. On Sept. 21, the Golden Eagles will travel to Western Kentucky to begin conference play. El-Zare plans to prepare for WKU by ensuring his players take care of themselves mentally and physically as well as planning ahead academically.
“All that stuff takes part of this week along with the practice plans and how we are going to face our opponent on Saturday,” El-Zare said. “It’s a lot of work, but we feel good about what we have done so far.”
Last season the Golden Eagles finished 13-6-1 overall and 5-4-1 in conference play, which put them in sixth place in Conference USA at the end of 2018.
“We had a very successful non-conference season. We’ve been working really hard ever since we started our first day of preseason,” Manteas said. “If we can keep doing our work, what we’ve been doing then I am very confident.”