Cowgirls Head To New York For NCAA Sectionals

Cowgirls Head To New York For NCAA Sectionals

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NCAA Sectionals

Nov. 18-19 | William Smith College | Geneva, N.Y.

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Hardin-Simmons is in the NCAA Tournament for the 15th straight year and the 17th time overall after winning its 15th straight American Southwest Conference title...HSU is in the sectional round for the ninth time in school history and for the third straight year...HSU has lost in PKs in the Sweet 16 each of the last two years...The Cowgirls have an all-time record of 22-12-9 all-time in the NCAA tournament... HSU has outscored its opponents 108-7 on the season.


About The Field

It is a loaded sectional with No. 2 William Smith, No. 3 Hardin-Simmons, No. 8 Carnegie Mellon and No. 14 Ohio Northern. HSU has never played any of the other three teams in the sectional, but do have a home-and-home series each of the next two years scheduled with William Smith. William Smith is located in Geneva, New York.


About Carnegie Mellon

The Tartans come out of the very difficult University Athletic Association. That league has three teams in the NCAA Sectionals this weekend, including Washington University, who beat the Cowgirls in penalty kicks in this round a year ago. Washington went on to win the national title. Senior Haili Adams leads the team with 12 goals on the year and sophomore Ryan Casey has eight goals, no one else has more than three. CMU has outscored its opponents 43-8 on the year. Freshman goalkeeper Carolyn Botz has a 0.43 goals against average and is saving 81 percent of shots on goal.


How We Got Here

Hardin-Simmons advanced last weekend with a dramatic comeback against Trinity in a 3-2 win in Abilene. Kenne Kessler tied the game in the 82nd minute and Evan Pipkin scored the game-winner in the final minute. HSU beat Methodist in the first round 3-1. Carnegie Mellon advanced with an overtime 1-0 win over Arcadia and a 1-0 win over Farmingdale State. William Smith beat Lasell, 5-0 and Swarthmore, 2-0. Ohio Northern had 2-0 wins over Penn State-Behrend and Illinois Wesleyan. All four teams hosted last weekend.  


Record Breakers

It has been a record-setting season for a couple of Cowgirls and anytime you get to the top of an HSU women's soccer list it is a remarkable achievement. Junior midfielder/forward Kenne Kessler has scored 37 goals, which is seven more than the old record. It also ranks sixth all-time in Division III history. She has scored at least one goal in all but one game this season. Junior midfielder Josey Meyer is tied with Katie Kuykendall for the single-season record in assists with 24. On the career charts, Kessler has scored 70 goals and is tied with Andrea Gilbreth for second on the all-time list. Amy Kuykendall has the career record with 76 goals. Kami Jones ranks sixth all-time with her 57 goals. Meyer is tied with Taylor Thigpen for second in career assists with 51.


Repeat MVP

Kirsten Parrish was named the ASC defensive MVP for the second straight season. She is a great center back, but she does so many other things for the Cowgirls. She has a strong serving leg and at 6-0 she is a huge weapon around the goal on set pieces. She has the ability to go in the air and either score the ball or find open teammates and few can match her size and ball skills in the air. She has 14 goals and nine assists and leads the nation for the second straight year in goals by a defender.


ASC Champs

The Cowgirls won their 15th straight American Southwest Conference title by defeating Mary Hardin-Baylor, 3-0. Kenne Kessler scored twice and Evan Pipkin added the other goal for the Cowgirls. HSU had advanced to the final with a 7-0 win over rival UT-Tyler in the semifinals and a 3-0 win over LeTourneau in the quarterfinals. Kirsten Parrish, Pipkin, Kami Jones and Kessler were named to the all-tournament team and Kessler was named the MVP. 


Five Cowgirls Named CoSIDA Academic All-District

Five members of the Cowgirl soccer team were selected to the CoSIDA Academic all-district teams. Caitlin Christiansen, Kenne Kessler, Sarah Krisa, Josey Meyer and Kirsten Parrish were all named to the squad. Kami Jones, the 2016 Academic all-American of the Year, missed too many games to qualify for nomination. Parrish was also a first-team academic all-American last year.


Cowgirls Load Up On ASC Awards

The Cowgirls dominated the American Southwest Conference postseason awards. Kenne Kessler was named the offensive MVP and Kirsten Parrish was named the defensive MVP for the second straight year. They were joined on the first team by Josey Meyer and Kendell Groom. Sarah Krisa, Caitlin Christiansen and Tiffany Van Hoose were all named to the second team. ASC teams are only allowed to nominate seven players for the all-conference team.


Head Coach Marcus Wood

Marcus Wood is in his 18th season at the helm of the Cowgirls and he has led HSU to the NCAA postseason 16 times, including 15 in a row. He has won 16 ASC titles. He has a career record of 328-35-26. He led the 2010 team to the first NCAA Division III National Title in school history.