One week! Yes, we are officially one week away from the first official regular match of any sport for the 2023-2024. Louisville women's soccer hosts Indiana State at 7:30 pm ET on August 17. We expect all home games to be aired on ACCNX if not on one of the linear channels.
Each team has returners that have already locked in their place as a leader and go-to player, but each season we see other players step up into bigger roles and sometimes have a breakout season. I'll take a stab at guessing who might have a breakout role this team.
There's almost no rules or requirements to make the list other than you can't already be a breakout star for a team For example, Aiko Jones for volleyball and Aimee Plumb are already stars that heavily contribute to their teams. We already have seen what they do and expect that again so it wouldn't be a breakout season.
Izzy Bianco- Bianco is sophomore this season that saw action in every game last season as a reserve that spent the offseason with the Team USA U21 team. As a midfielder, she might not be one of the top scorers but will play a big factor on the offense. Someone who can help with possession and disrupt the passing lanes in the midfield can make or break a game.
Rylie Wollerton- Wollerton played in every game and scored two goals as a freshman last year. She showed glimpses of how strong she can be on offense and has a good shot at doing that this season. Aimee Plumb and Emilia Kaczmarczyk draw most of the attention on offense, which opens the door for Wollerton to have a sneaky breakout year.
Addie Chester- Chester started 12 games and appeared in 15 games in her rookie campaign, but was limited two assists. She plays more of an offensive midfield position and holds the Indiana high school state record for goals scored in a season. For a Louisville team that had major offensive struggles last year, Chester is in prime position for a breakout season.
Lizzie Sexton- Sexton saw 13 starts in 16 appearances last season as a freshman. A true midfielder, Sexton can push forward to take an offensive role, but can easily fall back to support the defense. Her candidacy for a breakout role doesn't rely on how many goals she scored, but how much she can assist a defense that lost both Sarah Hernandez and Anouk Denton in the offseason.
Charitie Luper- Okay, so Jeff will argue and tell me Luper can't have a breakout season after a strong two seasons at UCLA, but most of the expected primary role players are returning from the last couple years. While Luper had a strong two years at UCLA, she has a chance to take her game to the next level, especially in a position where she could replace Claire Chaussee. Being slightly undersized means nothing with the hops Luper has.
Hannah Sherman- The battle for the middles continues. PK Kong and Cara Cresse battled it out with Amaya Tillman last season. Tillman graduated and Sherman has the chance to jump into the spotlight. Even last season, she wowed the coaches in practice and having a full year under her belt now, the power Sherman provides can make her one of the best offensive middle blockers in the conference.
I haven't gotten a chance to see any live action from any players or sports since last season so there's a lot of assuming on my end here. Let's hope we see some of these players- or other players- have breakout seasons.
Happy Thursday and Go Cards!