@soccerpatriots picked second in ASC Preseason Poll

Thursday, August 17, 2017
by Wes Bloomquist || wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

TYLER – The UT Tyler Patriots are picked second in the American Southwest Conference Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll and Kathleen Johnson, Vanessa Rangel and Caroline Williams are on the ASC Players to Watch List after a vote of the conference’s head coaches and sports information directors.

UT Tyler is 44-7-5 over the past three seasons and is coming off a 2016 campaign where it went 9-1-1 in ASC play. The Patriots outscored their opponents by a 57-13 margin last season and advanced to the 2016 ASC Championship final for the fourth time in five seasons, but lost 2-0 to Hardin-Simmons to have their season end. HSU has won 14 straight ASC titles and is picked to win the 2017 championship, while Mary Hardin-Baylor is selected third and UT Dallas and East Texas Baptist round out the top-5 of the preseason prognostication.

“I think the most exciting part of this group is that we are very young and very talented,” said UT Tyler head coach Stefani Webb, who has led the Patriots to a 155-47-16 record in 12 seasons and has won 246 games in her 20-year career. “We have a strong group of juniors and seniors that haven’t really lost many games in a UT Tyler uniform so that gives us some experience and grit but at the same time we have a wealth of young talent that we are very excited for. We need to compete every day, focus on our character and our team cohesion for this year to be special. Our culture has to be right and something we fight for every day in training.”

Williams has been a premiere defender for the Patriots for three seasons and has played in 49 games entering her senior season. A Frisco native, Williams earned ASC second-team honors as a junior. The UT Tyler defense has allowed only 33 goals in the three seasons since Williams joined the program. Johnson and Rangel are the top-two returning goal scorers for the Patriots and have matched each other with four goals in their freshman and sophomore seasons. Both players enter their junior seasons with eight career goals and are returning all-conference selections. An Austin native, Rangel is currently seventh in program history with 13 assists after leading the team with nine last season, including a three-assist performance in a win over Louisiana College. Johnson provided two game-winning goals in her sophomore season and had two assists.

HSU’s Kami Jones was named the ASC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Kirsten Parrish is the poll’s ASC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year for the Cowgirls. received 336 points in the preseason poll and recorded 24 out of a possible 26 first-place votes. Reigning National Soccer Coaches Association of America West Region Coach of the Year Marcus Wood and the Cowgirls won their 14th consecutive ASC championship in 2016 and made their eighth appearance in NCAA Division III Championship third round. HSU was ranked eighth in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll. Led by Jones on offense, the Cowgirls led the nation in assists and ranked third in goals scored in 2016. The Cowgirls also led the country with 20 shutouts.

UT Tyler came in second with 299 points in the preseason poll and picked up one first-place vote. UMHB was third in the preseason poll with 291 points. The Cru tied for second during the regular season a year ago and reached the ASC Championship semifinals. UMHB has placed third or better during the regular season each of the last four years.

“Looking at the results of our end of the season last year I think the poll is a great reflection of what our 2016 squad,” Webb said. “Preseason polls really don’t tell a great story of who you are this year or how much better everyone else has gotten so we try not to put much weight in them. Having said that I am excited about this group and what they should be able to accomplish this year.” 

ASC Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
(First-Place Votes)
Rank Team Pts. 2016 Record (ASC)
1. Hardin-Simmons (24) 336 20-1-2 (11-0)
2. UT Tyler (1) 299 14-3-1 (9-1-1)
3. Mary Hardin-Baylor 291 13-4-2 (9-1-1)
4. UT Dallas (1) 255 12-7-1 (7-3-1)
5. East Texas Baptist 196 6-8-4 (4-5-2)
6. Sul Ross State 188 6-9-1 (4-6-1)
7. Concordia Texas 180 8-7-1 (6-5)
8. LeTourneau 160 8-9-1 (4-6-1)
9. Ozarks 117 6-10-2 (3-6-2)
10. Howard Payne 112 5-11-1 (3-7-1)
11. Belhaven# 102 6-11 (n/a)
12. McMurry % 72 1-16 (1-10)
13. Louisiana College 39 0-15-2 (0-11)
# Ineligible for 2017 ASC Championship / NCAA Championship (NCAA Div. III Provisional)
% Ineligible for 2017 ASC Championship / NCAA Championship (NCAA Div. III Reclassifying)
 
ASC Women’s Soccer Players to Watch List
2016 All-Conference Selection*
Name Cl. Pos. Team
Heather Brady Sr. M/F East Texas Baptist
Kayla Carlove So. M Concordia Texas
Haley Clark Jr. GK Louisiana College
Rachel Crane Sr. F Howard Payne
Lauren Ebbs* Sr. F Sul Ross State
Ashlynn Folse So. F Louisiana College
Nicole Goodwin* Sr. GK Howard Payne
Brittanie Gragg* Sr. F Ozarks
Chelsea Graham* So. F Mary Hardin-Baylor
Claire Hamilton So. D East Texas Baptist
Rachel Hamilton Jr. D Sul Ross State
Laurel Hansen Sr. M UT Dallas
Sarah Harder* Jr. D LeTourneau
Kaitlyn Harrison Jr. M Howard Payne
Keely Hayden Jr. M LeTourneau
Kiara Henry So. GK Ozarks
Kathleen Johnson* Jr. M UT Tyler
Kami Jones* Sr. F Hardin-Simmons
Kennedy Keer* Sr. F LeTourneau
Kenne Kessler* Jr. M Hardin-Simmons
Alyssa Kolvitz Jr. D UT Dallas
Skylar Larkin Jr. D Concordia Texas
Madison Link* Jr. D Mary Hardin-Baylor
Cristen Lumbreras Jr. F McMurry
Jessica Mahone Sr. F Belhaven
Rebecca McCarron So. D Ozarks
Angelica Navarro Fr. M/D McMurry
Kirsten Parrish* Sr. D Hardin-Simmons
Vanessa Rangel* Jr. M UT Tyler
Sarah Rempe* Sr. M Mary Hardin-Baylor
Erica Rempel So. F Belhaven
Kaitlyn Roberts Fr. D McMurry
Ashlie Rojas Sr. GK Sul Ross State
Abbey Sturdivant* Jr. D/M East Texas Baptist
Megan Theros* So. D UT Dallas
Jaime Trahan Sr. D Louisiana College
Alex Trammel So. D/M Belhaven
Maria Paula Vela* Jr. M Concordia Texas
Caroline Williams* Sr. D UT Tyler