Photo from UMHB women’s soccer’s exhibition match vs. Hill College by CJ Halloran/@cjhall_photography
BELTON, Texas- Despite having just one practice under its belt, the UMHB men’s soccer team had little trouble finding a rhythm on Saturday night against Hill College.
The exhibition match, played under the lights at the Cru Soccer Field, saw UMHB pull out a 3-2 victory. Though it will not count towards the Crusaders’ regular season record, the contest was a great opportunity for head coach Brad Bankhead and his coaching staff to evaluate the team, especially the newcomers, in a game setting.
Patrick Roach, last season’s leading scorer with six goals, put the Cru up early, finding the back of the net in the 15th minute.
Marc Borbonus, a sophomore forward, took over after that, scoring UMHB’s next two goals at the 40 and 45 minute marks. He took four shots during the nine-game spring season, but did not score, so Saturday’s goals marked the first of his collegiate career.
That was enough to give UMHB a hard-fought victory, a good sign considering the Crusaders still have two weeks to practice before Texas Lutheran comes to Belton in the official season opener on Sept. 1.
Bankhead also said that 43 different players saw action in the match, a high number considering the roster features 46 players.
Postgame, Bankhead noted that he was “pretty impressed with everyone” considering the team had barely practiced together prior Saturday’s contest.
Bankhead’s squad will take the field next Saturday for an Alumni Game in Belton at 7:30 p.m. before getting set to open the regular season on Sept. 1.
The UMHB women’s soccer team was in a similar situation as it entered Saturday’s 5:00 p.m. match against Hill College, but came away from the closely-contested game with a 1-1 draw.
Maria Rico scored the Cru’s lone goal firing a shot into the back of the net off a pass from Ashley Watson. Rico started all nine games during the spring, leading UMHB with five goals on 20 shots. Watson is a senior defender who played in seven matches last season.
Said UMHB head coach Barry Elkins following the match: [We were] just happy to get our feet wet and give the new ones a bit of a taste of college soccer.”
The Cru are back in action next Saturday for an Alumni Game in Belton at 5:00 p.m. but will also have one addition tune-up before the regular season kicks off, traveling west to face Angelo State on Aug. 24. The official season opener is Sept. 1 against Texas Lutheran.