By Jason Pugh, Northwestern State Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
NATCHITOCHES – For the primary time in practically 11 months, the Northwestern State soccer staff will put on its purple jerseys Saturday.
After ending the 2021 season with consecutive highway video games and beginning the 2022 slate with three right away from residence, the Demons will open Southland Convention play by internet hosting Lamar in NSU’s first residence sport since Nov. 6, 2021.
Saturday’s 3:35 pm kickoff may be streamed by way of ESPN+ with free streaming audio out there on www.NSUDemons.com and thru the Northwestern State Athletics cellular app, which may be downloaded free for Apple and Android units.
“We’re excited to be residence — not solely is it the primary residence sport, however we’re beginning convention as effectively,” fifth-year head coach Brad Laird stated. “All people’s 0-0. It is an awesome alternative for us Saturday afternoon. It isn’t robust to elucidate, however from my previous experiences as a participant and a coach, these are the explanations I relish (enjoying at residence) a lot.
“These younger males work so laborious all year long to, this yr, have 4 alternatives to play at Turpin Stadium. Our help inside the neighborhood is so big that we sit up for showcase who we’re in entrance of them. They’re going to be out in full power, and we sit up for it.”
Added senior cornerback William Hooper, who will play his ultimate residence opener in an NSU uniform: “Coming residence, enjoying in entrance of the hometown crowd will convey a particular vitality to us. That is one thing we actually want.”
Each Northwestern State (0-3) and Lamar (0-3) are in search of their first wins of the season, and the Demons enter with three weeks of data gained from three fully completely different highway journeys.
The additional benefit of Saturday serving as each the house opener and the convention opener for the Demons just isn’t misplaced on Laird nor his gamers.
“That is the message yearly, as a result of it’s a completely different season in itself,” Laird stated of the mentality of the convention opener permitting for a “reset” button of types.
“Every little thing we needed continues to be in entrance of us. Our guys perceive that. Not to remove something from the previous three weeks — as a result of we now have to be taught from that, we now have to be higher — however as we enter this completely different season, we perceive everyone seems to be 0-0. We’ll speak this week, like we do each week, about going 1-0. That is the primary alternative for us to take action in convention.”
Whereas Saturday’s sport has double that means for the Demons, it serves as a return residence in a way for Lamar, which spent the 2021 season as a member of the Western Athletic Convention earlier than becoming a member of the Southland Convention in July.
The Demons have gained seven of 9 conferences with the Cardinals since Lamar reinstated its program in 2011. Northwestern State is 2-1 towards the Cardinals within the Laird period.
Lamar grabbed a 31-23 win in the newest assembly, which got here March 27, 2021, in Beaumont, Texas.
“We do not take any opponent flippantly,” Hooper stated. “We deal with each opponent the identical. It might be good to construct off these wins, however each day is a brand new day.”
— Featured photograph by Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Companies