While most Tigers were relaxing or doing homework this weekend, some athletes were busy winning championships and advancing to the NCAA playoffs.
Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams won their SCAC conference championship games on Sunday and are excited to continue on to the playoffs.
“It’s a huge achievement, not just to win our sixth straight regular season title, but to win our sixth straight SCAC tournament title too. Each of the last five times we’ve had to beat the host institution in either the semis or the final, so battling adversity and coming out the other side with trophies is a huge achievement,” said Callum Squires, assistant coach for the men’s soccer team. “We have all the talent needed to go all the way and win our second national championship. But equally, the margins for error are so small at this stage that we really have to concentrate and believe that we can keep progressing through the rounds.”
The men’s team has consistently been ranked No. 2 in the nation for several weeks now. They will be hosting the first two rounds of the playoffs for the NCAA Division III Championship this weekend on Nov. 11 and 12. On Saturday, the team will face the University of Texas at Tyler at 5 p.m. If they win, they’ll advance to the second round on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. Come out and support your Tigers as they aim for their next national championship!
The women’s soccer team also prevailed in their conference game, and will be headed to the playoffs this weekend. The women had a phenomenal season, maintaining a winning streak of 18 games and winning their ninth consecutive conference title.
Meredith Licata, senior forward, scored the winning goal of the conference game against Texas Lutheran University.
“It was such a great feeling to win SCAC again, it always feels like a lot of hard work paid. I was so glad I was able to help the team win, it was a close game and I’m just happy we got the job done. We are hoping to play our best [at the playoffs] and make it as far as possible. I think we have an incredible team and really have a chance to have a great run,” Licata said.
The No. 9 nationally ranked team will play the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor this Saturday, Nov. 11 at 1:30 p.m. at Hardin-Simmons University, and the next round will be played on Sunday.
Both of the soccer teams have continued their successful seasons year after year, but not without countless hours of dedication.
“This is a really special group of young men and we couldn’t be happier with the way they’ve carried themselves throughout this year. We’ve battled hard together on the field and there’s a real union in the locker room right now. All our guys are bought in and focused on doing the jobs we need them to in order to win,” Squires said.
The Tiger volleyball team also heads to their NCAA playoffs this weekend. While they did not win their conference match against No. 1-ranked Colorado College, the Tigers are excited for what the postseason will bring them.
“Of course we were disappointed that we didn’t win conference, but throughout this season and especially at conference, we proved to ourselves that we can compete with everyone in Division III and we have a lot of confidence going into the playoffs,” said Kirby Smith, senior outside hitter.
As Smith nears the end of her final year on the team, she looks forward to competing with her teammates.
“I have enjoyed playing volleyball all four years, but our team this year is the best team that I have ever been on. No matter what happens, I think this has been a great season to end on because of how much fun it has been to play with such a talented group of athletes,” Smith said. Send your support to the No. 4-ranked Tigers as they hit the road to Georgetown for the NCAA Regionals.
Stay tuned for coverage of the results of men’s soccer, women’s soccer and volleyball next week.