After starting out as freshmen in 2011, seniors Madison Brown, Taylor Brown, Sarah Schoch and Katie Stivers are the only members of the soccer team to have played every year of their college career at ACU. With a combined record of 41-17-3 over that time and only one losing season, along with the change to the Southland Conference, these girls have been together through it all and look to lead the team to a successful season.
“Starting out with Katie, Taylor and Madison was awesome,” Schoch said. “We all immediately connected our freshman year which was really great. They’re honestly my best friends. It was really awesome getting to form relationships with them on and off the field and just getting to make friendships that will last for awhile.”
Stivers said being able to spend so much time together and playing the same sport for such a long time has connected the girls and made them significantly closer friends.
“We may not hang out all the time, and yeah, we may not have the same friend groups, but I can go to them for absolutely anything,” Stivers said. “They’ve seen my true colors, they’ve seen my bad days and my good days and I have to be transparent with them whether I want to or not.”
The team started off the season 0-2, and since then have gone 2-2, leaving its record at 2-4 after the first six games of the season.
“I think overall this team is going to do really well,” Taylor Brown said. “Knowing each player and knowing everyone’s strengths on the team, I have really high expectations for us because I know that when we do work together and we are passionate about it and everyone puts in the work, that we can be a really good team. I’m interested to see where it goes.”
The team will begin conference play on Sept. 19 in Huntsville against Sam Houston State, but regardless of their record, the Wildcats cannot compete in post-conference play until 2017. However, the team will still try to make a name for itself in its new conference.
“I know the four of us, and the other two seniors as well, we’re all really excited and we can’t wait to see where this season takes us,” Taylor Brown said. “We all have big expectations and big dreams for this team, so I think we’re really excited to see where we go and where we finish up, and I think all of us know that we can do really well if we just get all of our ducks in a row.”
Stivers said that regardless of how the team finishes in their final year, the seniors also need to try to make the soccer program better for the future.
“Well, yes, obviously I would like for us to win, but I think what is really important this year and for years to come is building a foundation for the future of the program,” Stivers said. “I think what our job is now is to build a really solid foundation for girls in the future to come in with a standard of excellence.”
Madison Brown said she is thankful for her teammates being there for her and making her time playing college soccer worthwhile.
“I think I would just want to thank all the girls because they’ve truly made this whole experience great,” she said. “We’ve been through a lot. A lot of different divisions and playoffs and coaches, but they’ve always been the constant.”