Honoring seniors with a winning weekend

Victoria Nelson, Contributing Writer

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The Lady Crusaders celebrated their seniors by ending the regular season with six goals and back-to-back wins on their home turf. University of Dallas Photo.

The final week of regular season was a busy one for the University of Dallas Women’s Soccer team. Wednesday, Oct. 28 saw a disappointing 0-2 loss at home to Texas A&M-Texarkana, but the Lady Crusaders were able to turn their luck around and end on a high note with two victories over Sul Ross State University and Austin College on Friday and Sunday.

The Sul Ross game marked the team’s annual celebration of the graduating seniors. This year, the team honored goalkeeper Alice Bloemer, forward Mariah Fairbanks, defender Nicolette Perez and midfielder Abigail Weisbrod. After a short ceremony, the game began, and it was to be UD’s game for the whole 90 minutes.

From left to right, goalkeeper Alice Bloemer, forward Mariah Fairbanks, defender Nicolette Perez, and midfielder Abi Weisbrod were celebrated this weekend for their contribution to the program for the last four years. University of Dallas Photo.
From left to right, goalkeeper Alice Bloemer, forward Mariah Fairbanks, defender Nicolette Perez, and midfielder Abi Weisbrod were celebrated this weekend for their contribution to the program for the last four years. University of Dallas Photo.

The Crusaders’ offense rained down a whopping 53 shots to Sul Ross’ two, and of the 28 that UD put on frame, five found the back of the net.

The first half saw late goals from sophomore defender Lauren Hood and sophomore midfielder Mackenzie Vasile in the 38th and 43rd minutes, while a trio of evenly spaced goals from Perez, sophomore midfielder Taylor Ray and freshman midfielder Kathryn Zepeda rounded out the 5-0 scoreboard. Bloemer was credited with the shut-out in her last collegiate home game.

“I think the game really showed how much depth and talent this squad has,” Bloemer said. “Everyone, from freshmen to seniors, contributed to scoring in some way and it’s great for us seniors to see how much growth is still to come for this team.”

The girls carried this momentum and confidence into Sunday’s game against Austin College. The game was tense and evenly matched, with UD just outshooting Austin 11-9, each goalie saving four shots apiece, and the scoreboard displaying only zeroes until late into the second half. Weisbrod finally broke the tie with a cross from the left and fired into the top off an assist from Fairbanks in the 82nd minute.

“The team adjusted to the bad weather very well,” Weisbrod said. “However, despite the weather, this game was one of our best passing games. Everything we have worked on all season is finally coming together.”

It was a joyful and rewarding weekend to celebrate the team’s seniors, all of whom played pivotal roles in the two victories. Junior captain midfielder Cascade Mayer reflected on her graduating teammates:

“This year’s seniors have done so much for the program,” she said. “They are more than just great teammates; they are great friends and role models. Each one of them brings a different dynamic to the team and celebrating them for a weekend is the least we could do.”

With the regular season behind them, the Lady Crusaders move into the conference tournament as the fifth seed. They will face fourth-ranked Southwestern University on Friday, Nov. 6 at 11 a.m.

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