By Mason Nesbitt
For The Signal
When the NAIA released its women’s soccer All-Americans this month, it served as the capstone to one of the most decorated careers in Master’s program history and as validation of one of the country’s best breakout performances of the year.
Mustang senior Kayla Peterson became TMU’s first-ever player to have been named both a two-time All-American and a four-time All-Golden State Athletic Conference pick. And sophomore Kyndel Borman scored a career-high 13 goals, 10 more than last year, en route to her first All-American nod.
The pair was crucial to the Mustangs’ fourth appearance at the NAIA nationals in the last seven seasons.
“KP has had a marvelous four years here,” said Master’s coach Curtis Lewis. “I love the way she bought into the program and our philosophy. She was all in the Master’s way and for that, I am so proud of her.”
In Borman, Lewis sees a player who can build on this year’s success. The sophomore’s 13 goals were tied for seventh-most in a season in TMU history.
“Kyndel really stepped it up this year and was very deserving of All-American,” Lewis said. “I still think she has more in her as she moves forward into her junior year and I’m looking forward to watching her continue to grow and mature. We planned on 10-13 goals for her this year and she got 13. In her exit interview, she said she wants 15-20, and I’m looking forward to seeing her reach that goal.”
Peterson, who started at center back since her freshman year, moved from defender to forward during the 2019 season. Lewis hoped her speed and aggressive style of play would spark his offense. It did.
Peterson scored six goals – a career high and tied for second-most on the team – and was a critical part of TMU’s press, forcing opposing teams’ defenders into errant passes.
“She had an incredible year,” Borman said of Peterson. “She started strong for us in the back, but then when she went up top she really helped lead our defense from the front. I think that really helped us put away a lot of teams.”
Borman scored four game-winning goals, the biggest coming Oct. 19 in overtime against then-No. 6 Westmont College. The victory was crucial to launching the Mustangs into the NAIA postseason, where Master’s beat Truett McConnell University in the first round before losing to eventual national champion Keiser University.
“I thought this year showed the player that Kyndel is,” Peterson said. “But I think it’s just a taste of the player Kyndel will become in the next two years. She’s willing to take people on when necessary and will shoot from just about everywhere.”
Soares, Gardner repeat as GSAC Players of the Week
Stephanie Soares was named GSAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week and Brock Gardner did the same on the men’s side Monday when the conference released its weekly awards.
It was the second time in a row that the duo from Master’s swept the honors.
Soares recorded her second triple-double of the month, and her career, on Dec. 12 when she went for 21 points, 20 rebounds and 12 blocks in a rout of the University of St. Katherine.
She followed that up by going for 17 points, six rebounds and four blocks Saturday in 21 minutes as the Mustangs put their game against San Diego Christian away early.
Gardner scored 40 points Thursday in a win over La Sierra University. It was his third game with at least 40 points in his last five.
He posted another 23 points with 15 rebounds and four assists on Saturday in a 65-55 win over San Diego Christian.
For more information on Master’s Athletics, visit GoMustangs.com.