Leaving for Florida today, The Master’s University women’s soccer team looked like they were in midseason form in their final scrimmage of the season against Providence Christian College at Reese Field on Tuesday.
Slated to begin their season in Florida, the Mustangs will play four games against some of the toughest competition in the Sun Conference with Southeastern, Warner University, Keiser University and Saint Thomas University.
“I think we are a very unified team so that’s always important in female athletics,” said Mustangs women’s soccer head coach Curtis Lewis. “…we picked up some games against the top three teams in the Sun Conference and will use this opportunity to test ourselves early and do a little bit of team building.”
Finishing the 2017 season 15-6-1 with a trip to the NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship, the Mustangs return 92 percent of their scoring from last year.
Forward Jasmine Logan (formerly Jasmine Parada) returns for her senior season after starting all 22 games last season earning a plethora of awards and honors including the Golden State Athletic Conference co-Player of the Year by leading the GSAC in points (37) and goals (16).
“I’m just ready to serve the team,” Logan said. “Making those runs for them to play me the ball and a lot of my goals depend on my teammates passing me the ball. This year we have such a solid team even the freshman coming in and returners coming in and we know the dynamics of each other very well so those slip balls are my bread and butter so if they play to those and we continue to play for each other then our expectations will be surpassed.”
Senior forward Lynnae George will accompany Logan up top after finishing with career highs in goals (five) and assists (six).
The Mustangs also expect two incoming freshmen, Emma Hopkins and Kyndel Borman, to contribute at forward as well.
“They look really good,” said Lewis. “But we are expecting Kyndal and Emma to weight some of the goal scoring for us.”
Senior Hailey Gomillion will look to be the playmaker switching between the midfielder and forward position, adding some dynamic passing and ball movement. Redshirt senior Kellian Ahearn and junior Suzanne Mabie join Gomillion as part of a formidable midfield unit that combined for 12 goals during the 2017 season.
“I think we expect to be a serious contender in GSAC this year,” Gomillion said. “We had a strong year last year and that’s been our progression the past three years so I think we are in good position to really challenge for a GSAC Championship.”
Kayla Peterson, a junior returning starter, will headline the defense for the Mustangs earning an All-GSAC honor for the second time in her career and was named an NAIA All-American honorable mention.
Junior Laura English, senior Anna Brazil, sophomore Payton Williams and junior Valerie Martinez will also join her in the back line, along with incoming freshmen Seren Tomayo and Caroline Barnett, Peterson is confident that the defense will prove their worth again this season.
“I think defense is pretty strong,” Peterson said. “We have mainly returners coming back and a few freshmen that have really shown to do well in preseason. I think if they keep working really hard they can get some playing time out of it. So I think defense is going to come back really strong this year since most of us our upperclassmen.”
The Mustangs will begin their Florida matches against Southeastern on Saturday at 1 p.m., Warner University on Monday at 4 p.m., Keiser University on Aug. 24 and rounding out the trip with Saint Thomas University the next day at 10 a.m.
“Our passing has been a little off, a little sloppy so we have to tighten things up,” Lewis said. “We always say, ‘if you have a gun you never want to shoot yourself in the foot,’ you know? If we clean that up we should be a high scoring and high octane so we should be a fun team to watch and hopefully we put the ball in a lot.”