Hornet soccer turning heads with impressive start

If you don’t have anything better to do, a nice suggestion for this weekend would be to take in an ASU women’s soccer match.

It’s more entertaining than the Alabama National Fair and a whole lot cheaper. The Hornets will be playing Southern University on Friday at 6 p.m. in a game that doesn’t count in the Southwestern Athletic Conference standings (because it’s an East-West matchup) and close out the home season on Sunday at 1 p.m. against Jackson State. Admission to all ASU soccer matches is free.

Alabama State (7-6) is currently all alone in first place in the SWAC East Division and can wrap up a division title with a win on Sunday.

For pure entertainment purposes, what’s not to like about the Hornets? They feature twin sisters Aaliyah and Ariel Lewis, who rank 1-2 in four different offensive categories in the conference (Aaliyah actually ranks first in six different categories) and goalkeeper Kylee Hathaway, who leads the conference in four defensive categories.

Alabama State currently ranks ninth nationally in scoring offense and Aaliyah ranks 12th nationally in goals per game, tied with Florida’s Savannah Jordan and Lipscomb’s Ellen Lundy. Most of the players ahead of Aaliyah in the national standings are from major-college programs, giving ASU some very positive national exposure in women’s soccer.

Aaliyah also ranks eighth nationally in total goals with 12 and sixth nationally in total points with 28.

Ariel is 22nd nationally in assists per game (.62) and 14th in total assists with eight over the 13 games.

The Hornets lead the conference, as you would expect, in shots on goal, points, goals and assists and is second in goals allowed.

For all the offensive fireworks (isn’t that what fans come to see?) and the great conference start (beating Alcorn and Mississippi Valley last weekend), head coach Jodie Smith says his team has to maintain its focus, particularly in Sunday’s division matchup with Jackson State, to stay on top.

“We just have to stay focused and maintain our composure from our wins over the weekend,” he said. “We have to get better on the defensive end and be able to clear the ball out when it’s lingering in the box. This has got to be a team effort.”


About tgayle

Tim Gayle is a sports reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper and montgomeryadvertiser.com.
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