The Sam Houston State University soccer program graduated seven seniors last season, so naturally there were positions in the roster that needed to be filled. With that, the program announced on Jan. 23 that the team has added three new players.
The new additions include sophomore Carly English, freshmen Briana Woodall and Carlota Suarez Crespo, all of who can practice and compete during the spring season.
“With the three new players coming in,” head coach Tom Brown said, “It will help us get a little bit back towards a system that we wanted to play in a few seasons ago.”
English, who plays defender, came to SHSU after spending two seasons at Mississippi State University where she played in four games as a freshman. The defender played a game-high of 57 minutes against Southern Mississippi State University and earned her first assist as a collegiate athlete in a 4-0 win against Nicholls State.
“She [English] is a kid that we had followed when she was playing in high school,” Brown said. “And I think she’ll be a player that can play in an area that had struggled with some of our defenders last season.”
Before Mississippi State, English was a four-year letter winner at Red Oak High School. The defender was named District 28-4A first team All-District and Utility Player of the year for her junior year and second-team all district as a sophomore.
The Bearkats also added depth to their midfield with the addition of Woodall. The Oklahoma State transfer played one season with the Cowgirls before transferring to SHSU. As a Cowgirl, Woodall played in 13 games, scored one goal and had an assist during the 2016 campaign.
Woodall was also a member of Mexico’s under 20 Women’s Football Team training camp in 2015 and the under 17 national team where she helped lead the team to the Confederation of North Central American and Caribbean Association Football World Cup qualifying tournament championship in 2013.
During the midfielder’s time on the U-17 national team she scored nine goals in 14 international games in preparation for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2014.
“She [Woodall] is a very technical and skillful player,” Brown said. “She will definitely be a handful in this conference [Southland] for the other teams.”
Lastly, SHSU added a skilled forward from Madrid, Spain. Crespo, who spent a season at Tyler Junior College, was named to First Team All Region. While at TJC, the forward played in 24 games, scoring 24 goals and notching four assists.
Before playing at TJC, Crespo played for the Club de Fútbol Pozuelo de Alarcón. The club competes in the Pozuelo de Alarcón in the community of Madrid. While playing overseas, Crespo was named to the second national division for three consecutive seasons.
“All three seem to be finding more here out of what they wanted for their collegiate experience,” Brown said. “And I think the returning girls we have here are happy with them on the field as well as off.”
The Bearkats will resume their normal 20-hour per week practice schedule Feb. 6 in preparation for the spring season. The team will face off against Navarro Junior College in their first scrimmage of the season on Feb. 26.