By Anthony Rhodes and Bailey VenJohn
With the season opener just days away, the Builder women’s soccer team prepares for its first non-conference game against Southwest Assemblies of God on Aug. 29.
There has been a lot of speculation about what the Lady Builders will accomplish this season after finishing last season with a 10-9 record, 4-5 in the KCAC.
The Builders were picked to finish fifth in the KCAC pre-season coaches’ poll.
Last year the team had an impressive showing in the KCAC tournament. Ranked last seed in the tournament, the Builders fought their way to the championship game only to fall short at the hands of Kansas Wesleyan.
“It’s really not surprising to be ranked fifth because a lot of the ranking is based on what you’ve done in the past,” Joe Wood, head coach explains. “Our expectation as a team and as a coaching staff is to do better than that. If we finish fifth or sixth, we will be disappointed,” said Wood.
There is no doubt that the Lady Builders will be hungry for another championship run this year after returning nine of 11 starters from last year.
Some of the returning players to keep an eye on this season include, Joy Reyes, sophomore forward, and Sierra Mayer, junior center mid, who led the team in goals with a total of 10 last season.
Kaci Hutchinson, junior mid fielder, led the team in assists last year and is one to watch. Finally, Maddie Chapin, senior defender looks to be a solid returner.
Last season Chapin was named first team all-conference, voted team MVP, and won the KCAC Champion of Character award. Unfortunately Chapin suffered an ACL tear in the spring. Although not quite ready to play, Chapin will still be looked upon for her leadership skills.
There are also a few fresh faces looking to make a name for themselves this season. Rosana Macias, junior mid fielder, and Samantha Miller, junior mid fielder, join the team from Cowley Community College.
A couple of players who left Southwestern and came back this season are among the list. Lastly, Isa Whitley, junior defender is a transfer from Hutchinson Community College.
Wood said, “We had a good recruiting class this year, all of the players we brought in this season can come in and challenge for some playing time.”
Anthony Rhodes is a junior majoring in communication. You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.