They take the field every game with the inertia to win. They are there for each other and work well as a team. They are the Lady Crusader soccer team.
The women are off to a pretty good season with a winning record of 8-3. Seven of those wins are division play. Out of playing just eight games, the ladies have shot for 164 goals and made 32.
Erin Salyer is a junior and a forward for the team. She knows the potential of each member on the field and understands what the team is capable of.
“We have a very talented group of girls this season; we are very solid in every position on the field,” she said. “We have the heart, the desire, and the unity to make this season Head coach in her eighth year at UMHB is Meg Brown, and she agrees with Salyer about the potential of the team.
“We are having a good season as of right now. I think that is because we have learned each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and also all the hard work at preparing for each match.”
With the positive feedback from each other, Brown admits there are a few aspects of the game they need to improve on in order to be the best.
“The girls need to work on consistency,” she said. “We play 90-minute games, and we tend to have high moments and then not so great moments in the same game.”
One of the goalkeepers for the Lady Cru, is Erica Harris. She believes they can go to the American Southwest Conference tournament and win the made it to the tournament in the past, only to be kicked out in the first round of play.
“I think it’s very possible for us to win the tournament with the group of girls we have this year because we are all willing to work for each other and not as an individual,” Harris said.
Right defender for the team Kellee Shearer knows the competition is fierce in the ASC, but if the team can work together as they have been, they can have a shot at the championship game.
“I feel as if we have a good chance of winning especially that we are sitting in second right now,” she said. “We must give it our all mentally and physically during every practice and game to work towards the conference tournament.”
“When we get there, it’s all or nothing because if you win, you advance. If you lose you go home,” Shearer said.
For Coach Brown, the ASC Championship has been lingering in her mind from the start of the season, and it is slowly becoming more and more realistic.
“Absolutely, the tournament has been on my mind,” she said. “The only thing is that we have eight more games before that big weekend. We are preparing for it weekly at practices.”
To stay on the positive side, the team works together to raise each others’ spirits. Salyer is one of the powerhouse players, but she also is one who helps the Lady Cru on a mental level.
“I bring with me daily my inner child and love for the game,” she said. “The more fun we have, the more successful we seem to be.”
The Cru have impressive statistics. They just have to stay strong and persevere through the game, Brown said.
The Crusaders will be on the road this week for one match against Mississippi College and then another one
against Louisiana College.
However they will play at home on Oct. 23 to try and score a win against Hardin- Simmons University. The
Cowgirls are having a great season with an overall record