After improving from a 4-8-0 record in conference play in 2013 to a 8-5-1 conference record last season, the Lady Crusaders are poised to continue moving up the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) standings. Under Head Coach Angelina Pane, the Crusaders went 10-9-1 overall last season, finishing third in the SCAC. Despite losing last year’s leading scorer, Nicole Johnson, the top scorers returning include Midfielders Cascade Meyer, Alice Nelson, Mackenzie Vasile, Abigale Weisbrod and Mariah Fairbanks. This year’s starting goalie, Elena Naccari, started 15 games and notched an impressive 73 saves last year.
The University of Dallas has its work cut out for them early on this season. On Sept. 1 they will travel to Tyler, Texas to face the University of Texas at Tyler Patriots, who are ranked third in the Western Region by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Following a road trip to California, the Dallas Challenge Tournament will serve as a home opener on Wednesday, Sept. 9. In the first game of the tournament, the Crusaders will face another formidable opponent, the University of Texas at Dallas, who are ranked fourth in the Western Region by the NCAA. Games against Lewis & Clark College and George Fox University on Friday, Sept. 11 and Saturday, Sept. 12 will conclude the Dallas Challenge. A week later on Sept. 18 UD will face its toughest obstacle when the team opens conference play against defending SCAC champions and the No. 6 nationally ranked team, the Trinity University Tigers.
The Crusaders will also host the SCAC tournament at the end of the season starting Nov. 6. There, the Lady Crusaders hope to avenge last year’s semi-final loss against Texas Lutheran University and achieve their ultimate goal of bringing the SCAC championship home for the first time. The Crusaders had a home scrimmage to open the year on Wednesday, Aug. 26 where they will played North Lake College.