The Lady Bearkat soccer team is an accomplished athletic program at Sam Houston State University that will start conference play this Friday against Central Arkansas at home.
The Lady Bearkats concluded the 2014 season as runner up in the Southland Conference with a program best of 8-2-1 and are anticipating their first conference championship in the 2015 season.
“We feel like this season is definitely the best team Sam Houston Soccer has had,” said forward Katie Ferrara.
The team, which consists of 18 returning players, 6 of which were named all-conference honorees, has started off the year with a powerful 4-2-1 record.
“The tie against Baylor at home was an amazing experience,” defender Katelyn Bunch said. “We’ve proved that we can compete with big teams.”
Head coach Tom Brown is expecting big things from his team this season because he knows they have the potential and skill level to surpass other’s expectations..
“We were picked to finish second in the Southland Conference in the coaches poll,” Brown said. “However, it is our goal to be the conference champ.”
The Lady Bearkats accumulated 112 points in the 2015 Southland Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll, only 12 points shy of the predicted conference leader Stephen F. Austin.
In order to obtain the programs’ first conference championship, Brown has implemented a rigorous practice schedule.
“We put together a very difficult schedule to challenge our players and help prepare us for conference play,” Brown said. “The team is training hard each morning.”
While conference play has yet to commence, the Lady Bearkats are pleased with the season so far. All work put in during practices and games has strengthened the team physically and has brought the team closer together.
“As a whole, we have a solid group of girls and we’ve learned a lot about ourselves as a team,” midfielder Ashley Alonzo said. “This team has a lot of potential and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Forward Ferrara is looking to make a statement this year for the girls’ soccer program to give the team the acknowledgement they deserve.
“I hope this sport gets more recognition for all the hard work and talent that we have,” Ferrara said. “I have a lot of faith in this team and I believe we can compete with just about anyone. I hope in the future we get chances to prove how good we are.”