Lady Lions head west for season opening matches against GCU, ASU

Published 2:11 pm Wednesday, August 18, 2021

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The Southland Conference preseason favorite Southeastern Louisiana University women’s soccer team opens the 2021 season Thursday night when they face Grand Canyon University at 9 p.m. CT in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Lady Lions (8-3-4 in 2020) will make the 1500-mile trip to Phoenix to take on GCU (8-9-1 in 2020) before facing Arizona State (9-6-3 in 2020) Sunday at 9 p.m. CT in Tempe, Arizona. While the trip to GCU is a long one, Arizona State’s campus is just seven miles from GCU.

“We’re really excited to get out and play someone different,” said fifth-year SLU women’s soccer head coach Chris McBride. “It’s been over two years now since we’ve played someone outside of the conference. So it’s going to be really exciting to get out there and play against some non-conference teams. It’s going to be a great trip out west to see where we are as a team against some really quality opponents.”

Southeastern enters the opener with lots of experience and talent. The Lady Lions boast eight preseason All-Southland selections including midfielder Megan Gordon, defenders Dalton Fish and Emma Jones and forwards Mya Guillory and Makenzie Maher all on the first team. Defender Haylli Roe, forward Hailie Yoder and reigning Southland Conference Tournament MVP, goalkeeper Nadine Maher, each earned second team selections.

Thursday’s match marks the first meeting between SLU and GCU. The Lopes, picked to finish third in the WAC, are led by preseason All-WAC midfielder Marleen Schimmer. The junior lead the team in shots (67), scored four goals and had four assists for GCU in 2020 helping the Lopes to the WAC Tournament semifinals.

“Grand Canyon is a really good team,” said McBride. “They are very defensively organized and move the ball along the back very well. They’ve got some very talented players with Schimmer and a couple of other really good players that have come into their program. We’re expecting them to be a very good team and to be a great test for 90 minutes. I think it’s going to be a great game and it will be fun to play against them.”

Sunday, the Lady Lions will face ASU who enters the season ranked 27th in the country according to the United Soccer Coaches preseason rankings. The Sun Devils lost in the second round of last season’s NCAA Tournament to Duke, ranked sixth in the USC preseason poll, 2-1 in double overtime.

The Sun Devils possess a potent offensive threat in forward Nicole Douglas. The senior netted 10 goals for ASU in the spring earning second team All-Pac 12.

While the Sun Devils are picked to finish seventh in the Pac 12, the conference is stacked with talent as five teams made last year’s NCAA Tournament including ASU, UCLA, Colorado, USC, and Washington.

“Arizona State is one of the top teams in the country,” said McBride. “Douglas is an exceptional forward who can finish from almost anywhere. But they’ve also got some other really good players. We’re going to see some of the best midfielders we’ve seen and some of the best center backs in the country. The balance they have as a team with the organization and their identity, is well groomed. It’s going to be a great opportunity to see where we are defensively and then how we can get behind them offensively. We’re really going to have our character and resilience tested against them.”

Sunday’s match also brings some nostalgia as McBride, the reigning Southland Conference and LSWA Coach of the Year, credits Arizona State head coach Graham Winkworth for being a big part of his development as a coach. McBride was an assistant under Winkworth’s staff at both North Alabama and South Alabama.

“Graham’s been a great mentor for me,” said McBride. “He got me my first collegiate job and helped me develop as not only a coach, but a person. He helped me find out what my philosophy was going to be and helped guide me through some things early in my head coaching career.  It’s going to be nice to stand across and coach against a guy that I have that much respect for.”

Live Stats will be available for both Thursday and Sunday’s matches. Thursday’s match will be broadcast on ESPN+. Sunday’s match at Arizona State will also be available on with links to both matches at the Southeastern women’s soccer schedule page at LionSports.Net.


Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the women’s soccer program are encouraged to join the Score One More Club.  Lion alums are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is restricted to Southeastern athletic letter winners. All membership fees and donations to Score One More Club are available for the exclusive use of the Southeastern soccer program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at or (985) 549-5091 or visiting

For more information on Southeastern Soccer, follow @LionUpSoccer and @chrismcbride88 on Twitter, like /SLUathletics on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.


For ticket information, please contact the Southeastern Athletics Ticket Office at (985) 549-5466 or visit Southeastern is implementing mobile ticketing as the primary source for securing tickets for the 2020-21 season. All tickets will be available via e-mail in a PDF format for fans to download on their phone or print at home. Tickets can also be downloaded to Apple Wallet.