Headed by second-year coach Lance Key, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Soccer team officially started soccer practice in August.
Due to COVID-19, certain precautions are being taken for practices and gameplay. For now, the season is set to start in September against West Division teams only.
Reflecting back on last season, Players Julianne DeBlieux, Skyla Sykes and Ashley Newland all had similar favorite moments.
“Winning our first game in the conference tournament against Troy, we made history as a team, being the first to make it that far,” DeBlieux said in reference to last season.
For Sykes, “It’s not exactly one moment, but I think just making it to the conference tournament because my freshman year our team didn’t make it there,” said Sykes. She believed the whole experience was fun and made special by Coach Key.
Newland added that, during last season, Troy was their last conference game. They lost that game, so having to play Troy first in the conference tournament was great.
“I remember the way we all were in the locker room, I don’t think there was one person on our team that was like, ‘I hope we win today,’ everyone was like, ‘We’re winning today,’” said Newland. The Ragin’ Cajuns did in fact win the Troy game perfectly, 3-0.
With practices just getting started again, the Ragin’ Cajuns soccer team had to make some changes. Newland expressed that practices are still the same intensity as well as coaching, but wearing masks and bringing personal bottles is a must.
DeBlieux said she believes they’re making progress.
“When we first started we had to remain six feet apart at all times and we couldn’t have any contact at all, but now it’s a little more normal,” she said. Regarding wearing masks, “That’s been interesting, but it’s all doable. I mean we know why we have to do it, so it’s really not that big of a burden.”
Sykes said she was sad to see she couldn’t be close to her teammates due to the virus. “Coming back I just wanted to hug everyone, and you can’t even do that or even high five,” she said.
The coaches have tried to get some normalcy with having the team see each other often, but things are still different this year.
Still, she said she is looking forward to the upcoming season with her team.
“I’m most looking forward to every game, I mean it’s my last season and probably the last time I’ll be able to play on a team,” Sykes said.
Newland added that with a season filled with so much uncertainty, she’s ready to play and see how it turns out.
“Seeing the way everything plays out with the whole uncertainty of the season and a lot of schools canceling their seasons,” Newland said.
For DeBlieux, she’s ready to go all out this season as well.
“Every day has been like, ‘Well this could potentially be my last day so make the best of it,’” DeBlieux said.
Let’s look forward to the upcoming Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns soccer team and see if they can go even further in the Sun Belt Conference tournament this time around.