Soccer Preview Part 2: The Front Line
BATON ROUGE - Despite losing the services of one of the program's all-time leading scorers to graduation in forward Rachel Yepez, the LSU soccer team is sure to be strong in the attack one again this fall with a wealth of talent and depth returning along the front line.
Sophomore Carlie Banks is the team's returning scorer from a season ago as she scored seven goals and dished out four assists for 18 points in her rookie season with the Tigers en route to earning a selection to the SEC All-Freshman Team. She was especially impressive against Southeastern Conference foes as she scored all seven of her goals a year ago in SEC play.
A native of Peachtree City, Ga., Banks was recognized as a Player to Watch in the SEC into the offseason by TopDrawerSoccer.com as one of the league's top sophomores.
"Carlie Banks has come into fall camp in the best physical condition she has been in since she has been in our program," said LSU head coach Brian Lee. "We expect her to build upon the success she had last year as one of the top freshmen in the SEC and help lead our attack up front. She will be a key for us."
In order to replace the 33 goals and 85 points scored by Yepez during her brilliant career in the purple and gold, Lee and his staff hit the recruiting trail and signed two of the nation's elite prep forwards and two of the TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 100 recruits in the country in Kaley Blades and Addie Eggleston.
A product of the Challenge Soccer Club in Houston, Eggleston ranked as the No. 33 recruit in the country by TopDrawerSoccer.com for the Class of 2010 and was recognized as a high school All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. She competed with the U.S. Youth National Team and as a member of the Region III Olympic Development Program Team during her prep career.
Blades, who hails from Largo, Fla., was ranked as the No. 37 recruit in the nation and was the top-ranked recruit in the state of Florida for the Class of 2010 by TopDrawerSoccer.com. Like Eggleston, Blades developed her skills as one of the country's premier attackers while competing as a member of the Under 15 U.S. Youth National Team and Region III ODP Team during her prep career.
"We are certainly very young along the front line, but we are also very talented," Lee said. "We're glad to have Carlie back to help lead the attack. Addie Eggleston and Kaley Blades are nice additions for our club and we have two good options in Tricia Johnson and Reyna Lubin coming off the bench."