The women’s soccer team gladly accepted what would be a tough road, with new challenges and competitors in Div. I and made the word “efficiency” the theme for the season in the Southland Conference.
Finishing overall 13-5-1 and fourth in the conference with 7-5-0 and 21 points, the team proved they could play with the best.
The Wildcats started the season strong, winning all of their pre-conference matches, with the exception of their game against the University of Texas El-Paso which was played in early September, resulting in a tie.
The most challenging team proved to be the Lions of Southeastern Louisiana University, whom they defeated 1-0.
“The SELU game was tough because we didn’t have a lot of chances to score, as the Lions had a great defense, with one of the best keepers in the conference,” head coach Casey Wilson said. “We beat a great team with a great goal.”
As the season continued, the team began to see multiple injuries, which affected their game strategy and forced players into positions they normally wouldn’t play.
Despite having to make many adjustments early in the season, the Wildcats won their last home games at the Wildcat Soccer Pitch, defeating Texas A&M Corpus Christi 2-1 and the University of the Incarnate Word 3-1.
Unfortunately, the last games of the season resulted in losses.
“I felt we could have ended the year stronger than we did,” coach Wilson said. “Despite losing the last two games, we had chances to win both and that is all we can ask for in any game we play. The competition throughout the Southland Conference was pretty competitive.”
Through the many challenges the ‘Cats faced, the team continued to shine as four players were named a Southland Conference Player of the Week.
Freshman goal keeper Sydney Newton and defender Kelsie Roberts, along with seniors, forward Andrea Carpenter and defender Brie Bushman, were among the players who received this honor.
Adding to the list of high achievements, Bushman was named as one of 11 players from the Southland Conference to the Capital One Academic All-District 7 First Team on Oct. 31.
This is the third time of her career that Bushman has been named as a Capital One Academic All-District team by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
“I am very blessed and humbled by the opportunity to represent ACU as one of the first of many more athletes in the Div. I arena to be named to this high honor,” Bushman said.
The Wildcats demonstrated this season that they are ambitious both on and off the soccer field.
“We have had some highly decorated players over the last years, award-wise,” coach Wilson said. “They are just as competitive in the classroom as they are on the field, also receiving academic honors.”