HBCU Sports: Soccer Season Preview: Arkansas Pine Bluff

2016 Record: 9-8-1 (7-2-1 SWAC), Lost in final of SWAC soccer tournament

Key Returners: Karissa Fenwick, Rebecca Holmes, Mariah Johnson

Key Losses:  Makayla Cowles

Arkansas Pine Bluff will look to build off of its SWAC soccer tournament run last season

Arkansas Pine Bluff will look to build off of its SWAC soccer tournament run last season.  The Lady Lions advances all the way to the tournament championship game, before falling to Alabama State.

Marcus Hoover will be leading the Lady Lions soccer program in 2017.  Hoover, who was an assistant for UAPB last season and takes over for Jamie Hutchison, will look to build off the Lady Lions success in 2017.

Returning for UAPB this season is its top offensive threat, Karissa Fenwick.  Fenwick, who earned preseason second team All-SWAC honors, led the Lady Lions with 20 points, scoring eight goals and dishing out four assists last season.

Rebecca Holmes, who was the Lady Lions second leading scorer last season, will also be returning in 2017. Holmes scored eight goals while adding one assist for 17 points in 2016.

Mariah Johnson, who was a preseason first team All-SWAC selection at defender will also be back for Hoover this season.  Johnson played 1,513 minutes, which led the team in 2016.

Hoover will need to replace MaKayla Cowles in net this season.  Cowles had a 1.50 goals against average and a .797 save percentage while compiling a 5-4 record in 2016.

The pieces are in place for Arkansas Pine Bluff to prove that last season’s postseason run was no fluke for the Lady Lions.  Hoover will look to build off of that success, and look to a strong core of returning players to help lead UAPB to another SWAC soccer tournament run.

UAPB opens its 2017 campsign on Aug. 20 when it takes on Central Arkansas at 3 p.m.