UMHB men’s and women’s soccer notch shutouts over Texas Lutheran in season opener

Above photo courtesy of the UMHB Athletics Department

BELTON, Texas- The first night of matches for the UMHB men’s and women’s soccer teams resulted in two wins over Texas Lutheran as the women shutout the Bulldogs 3-0 and the men also emerged victorious in the nightcap, with a 4-0 victory.

Now 1-0 on the year, the Crusader women get set to embark on their first road trip of the season, a short trek to Georgetown for a match against Southwestern on Sept. 6, while the UMHB men’s team travels to Pennsylvania for two contests beginning on Sept. 4.

In the women’s match to open the day, the first half featured a defensive battle, before UMHB’s Kristen Burdick found the back of the net in the 63rd minute. It proved to be enough to seal the victory, though midfielders Gabby Gibson and Kelsey White added insurance goals for the Cru in the 74th and 87th minutes, completing the shutout.

Much of the credit for the shutout goes to UMHB freshmen goalkeepers Ainsley Westlake and Reagan Williams, who each saw action in the contest. Williams started the game, playing the entire first half and tallying two saves, before Westlake entered the game, and played the second half. Head coach Barry Elkins had a major hole to fill at the goalkeeper position with the departure of Emmy McMaude, a four-year starter at the position who allowed just three goals last season. Though McMaude leaves big shoes to fill, both Westlake and Williams displayed great confidence against a team that ranked fourth in the SCAC in goals (12) last year.

As a whole, the UMHB defense was outstanding, led by seniors Ashley Watson and Shay Taylor. TLU was limited to just two shots on the day, and the Crusaders impressive defense translated into successful offense, with UMHB getting eight shots on goal. The Cru had 11 total shots in the second half alone.

The men’s contest also featured a shutout, as the Cru found the back of the net early and never looked back. In the ninth minute, midfielder Brody Conley put UMHB on the board, as the junior scored the seventh goal of his collegiate career.

The second half featured three additional insurance goals for the Cru, as Patrick Roach got a perfectly-placed shot past TLU goalkeeper Caleb Weed in the 62nd minute.

Roach etched his name into the UMHB record books with his goal, becoming the program’s all-time leading scorer with 25 career goals.

Editor’s note: The UMHB athletics department has stated Roach’s goal makes him UMHB’s all-time leading scorer while at the Div. III era, though it is unknown what records were set prior to the Cru becoming a Div. III program in 1999.

The scoring continued from there, as freshman Ethan Dacaret tallied his first collegiate goal in the 77th minute following a missed shot. To cap it off in the 87th minute, midfielder Nick Villanueva, who was responsible for the assist on Roach’s goal, scored a goal of his own.

UMHB’s offensive attack was dominant for the entirety of the contest, and with it came impressive accuracy. The Crusaders made the most of their opportunities, converting on all four shots on goal.

Offensive firepower appears to be the strength on this UMHB team, who led the ASC in goals scored (23) during the 2020-21 season. With a core of consistent scorers in Roach, Conley, Villanueva, and Seth Neveloff, the Cru will be tough to beat when holding possession.

Similar to the women’s contest, the story of the shutout is not complete without the mention of UMHB goalkeeper Dalton Lloyd. Lloyd, who started three games but played in all nine last season, posted a clean sheet on six TLU shots.

This marks the second straight season that UMHB has opened the year with a win. The Cru face Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania on Saturday.

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