The University of Dallas women’s soccer team (UDWS) began their 2016 campaign last Thursday evening with a home game against Howard Payne University. After being dealt a loss in their first game, the Lady Crusaders attempted to rally on the road against Sul Ross State University, but a goal from the Lobos in the 10th minute would prove more than they could overcome, despite outshooting Sul Ross 7-1 in the second half.
Back on their home turf, however, while everybody else enjoyed the Labor Day holiday, UDWS would grab their first win of the season in handy fashion, beating McMurry University 4-1.
“This weekend was instrumental in building a foundation for our season,” head coach Angelina Pane said. “[It] provided [an] opportunity for our first win, first road trip, and great moments for us to connect as a team both on and off the field.”
“I think our win was well-earned and well-deserved,” junior forward and team captain Mackenzie Vasile said. “We learned so much from our first two games, [and] we just keep getting better and better.”
Vasile led the scoring against McMurry University with a goal off a corner kick from sophomore forward Mason Cosgrove in the 12th minute. Although her initial hit was punted high, it bounced on the goal line, and the McMurry keeper could not contain it.
“My goal was nothing pretty,” Vasile said. “But it worked, and it feels great.”
Her early goal would be the first of three in the first half. Inspired by her combination with Vasile, Cosgrove found the back of the net in the 33rd minute, earning her first goal of the season and her fourth of her college career.
A pair of freshman forwards rounded out the first frame with a combination for goal number three in the 42nd minute. Victoria Salazar found Miranda Lozano in the box, and Lozano drove it home to make the score 3-0 at the end of the first half.
Although McMurry came out with a goal in the first minute of the second half, they never managed to catch the Crusaders, who put a cap on the game with goal number four in the 70th minute.
Freshman midfielder Kate Vidimos scored, unassisted, from outside the top of the box, and the score was settled at 4-1.
“It’s really fun to see a bunch of young women come together and become more united every day,” junior defender Sydney Stirling said. “We’re preparing for conference and ready to succeed in everything we do on and off the field. I hope that we continue this momentum and intensity because I know that [if we do] we can’t be stopped.”
“Our focus right now is the next game,” Coach Pane said. “We are not looking ahead; we are giving all our efforts to each game, one at a time. This season is about the team and their growth as women, students and athletes. We are excited for 2016 and eager for all it will bring us as a program.”
The Lady Crusaders look to continue their success and improve their record at home this weekend against Millsaps College on Sept. 9th at 5 p.m. and against Hendrix College on Sept. 11th at 12 p.m.