Both the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s and women’s soccer teams qualified for post-season play and finished their seasons in the semifinals round at the ASC Conference Tournament.
The men finished with an overall record of 8-5-3 (4-2-2) and defeated Hardin-Simmons University 1-0 in the quarterfinals of the playoffs before falling to the University of Texas-Tyler 1-0.
The women finished with an overall record of 12-4-1 (8-1-0) and won their quarterfinal match-up against the University of the Ozarks 1-0. They then fell to eventual ASC Champion Hardin-Simmons University 4-0.
Combined, both programs had four seniors including: Ben Hammonds, Colby Case, Jorge Marquez and Ashley Stenack, all of whom played important roles for their teams.
Stenack, a nursing major, will cherish the memories she made with her teammates forever.
“Honestly, I am going to miss everything about soccer. I’m going to miss having practice every day, that adrenaline you get before the start of each game, making tackles, the excitement after we score a goal, and most importantly my teammates,” she said.
Stenack enjoyed each season as she enters the next chapter in her life.
“I absolutely loved playing soccer here these past 4 years. I have learned a lot about myself from playing soccer and studying to be a nurse. It takes a lot of time management and dedication, and I feel like I can accomplish anything now, because doing both soccer and nursing is probably one of the hardest things I have ever done regardless of the difficulty, I’m going to miss every second of my collegiate soccer career here at UMHB,” she said.
For the returners, both squads are already preparing for next season to get another chance at earning a conference championship ring.
Sophomore pre-physical therapy major Case Carnes believes the Cru has what it takes to win it all next season.
“We had a great team full of guys that worked hard every day and we all worked for each other. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys. Next year, our goal is definitely winning conference and I believe we have a strong chance, especially with most of the players returning,” he said.
Junior nursing major Kathryn Parker also believes in her team and reflected about the season.
“The season was good, it was our second best for all the returners. We have a lot of room for improvement so that’s something to work for. As for going into next year, it’s always exciting going into your senior year and we have a lot of high goals and a lot of returners all looking for the same goals,” she said.
The Cru and Lady Cru both placed seven players each on the All-Conference teams. The men’s team includes: Caleb Vandergriff, Hammonds, Marquez, Case, Julio Mar, Caleb Almanza and Javier Zaragoza. For the women, Allison Porter, Courtney Craig, Sarah Rempe, Parker, Miranda Aleman, Madison Link and Briana Hester earned the accolade.
Junior sport management major Mckenna Cook is already looking forward to getting back onto the field with his squad.
He said, “This year was a great year for us, and I felt like it was our year to win it. We came up short, but we are returning a lot of key players and I think next year will be a great year for us.”