Hardin-Simmons’ path to its 11th straight American Southwest Conference will be a little different than the previous 10 as HSU will play an ASC tournament on the road for the first time since 2002.
The Cowgirls are the No. 1 seed in the tournament, but because the HSU men are also the No. 1 seed, league bylaws do not allow one school to host both tournaments. The men received the right to host in odd years and the women in even years, thus sending the tournament to second seeded Texas-Dallas in Richardson.
The last time HSU did not win the ASC crown was in 2002 and the tournament was also at UTD with the Comets winning 1-0 in the final.
HSU comes into the weekend with a 13-1-1 record and HSU went undefeated in league play for the 14th straight season. In all, HSU will be looking for its 16th ASC title in the 18 years of the ASC.
The Cowgirls are ranked 13th in this week’s NSCAA poll.
HSU has been led by a stellar defense all season long that has allowed just six goals and only two in ASC play. Lexi Stinson has a 0.41 goals against average and is 13-0-1 in goal.
Offensively, junior Julianne Kucera leads the Cowgirls with 14 goals and seven assists and senior Taylor Thigpen has six goals and 18 assists. Thigpen is just the fourth HSU player to reach 40 career goals and 40 career assists. The Cowgirls have 18 different players that have tallied a goal this season.
Senior center defenders Caitlin and Courtney Cramer are big-time threats in the air. Courtney has eight goals and Caitlin has five and they also lead an athletic back line.
The Cowgirls are led by 14th year head coach Marcus Wood, who will be coaching his 300th game on Friday. He is 249-28-22 in his career and has an .870 career winning percentage.
HSU will open play on Friday after a first-round bye. The Cowgirls will play the winner of the East Texas Baptist-Texas Tyler game that will be played on Thursday. If the Cowgirls win on Friday, they will play in the ASC Championship on Sunday at 1 p.m.
2013 AMERICAN SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE
WOMEN'S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT
UTD Soccer Complex / Richardson, Texas / Hosted by: University of Texas at Dallas
Thursday, November 7
Game 1: #4 Texas-Tyler vs. #5 East Texas Baptist, 11:00 a.m.
Game 2: #3 Mary Hardin-Baylor vs. #6 Concordia Texas, 2:00 p.m.
Friday, November 8
Game 3: #1 Hardin-Simmons vs. Winner Game 1, 11:00 a.m.
Game 4: #2 Texas-Dallas vs. Winner Game 2, 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 10