Photo by Russell Marwitz/True To The Cru/russellmarwitz.com
BELTON- Since Oct. 29, 2021, the UMHB women’s soccer team has either tied or won every match it has played on its home turf. That streak, now at nine straight matches, will seek to be extended entering the 2023 season, and Sept. 9 is the Cru’s first opportunity to do so.
The defending American Southwest Conference champions released their 2023 schedule on Monday morning, which includes six non-conference duels in addition to the Cru’s nine ASC matches.
For the second straight year, UMHB will play UW-Whitewater and St. Scholastica on the opening weekend of the regular season. Last year, the Crusaders beat both opponents in Abilene, and this fall, UMHB will make a trip outside of Region 10 to Duluth, Minnesota.
The Cru is set to face UW-Whitewater on Sept. 1. The Warhawks finished third in the WIAC a year ago, posting a 11-5-4 overall record. Two days later, on Sept. 3, St. Scholastica is UMHB’s opponent. The Saints were 2-11-5 in 2022.
Ohio Northern is UMHB’s first home opponent of the year, as that contest is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sept. 9 at the UMHB Soccer Field. Like UMHB, ONU finished the 2022 season ranked in the D3soccer.com Top 25 poll, slotted at No. 25 with a 14-2-5 record. The Cru finished four spots higher at No. 21.
The Polar Bears won the Ohio Athletic Conference in 2022,and advanced to the Second Round in the NCAA Tournament. ONU is anticipated to return its top three goal scorers from last season, as Alyssa Beckett (8 goals) enters her junior season and Kylie Cabana and Jill Roberts (6 goals each) are entering their senior years.
Road matchups against Southwestern and Trinity (TX), along with a home duel against Texas Lutheran round out the Cru’s non-conference slate, before the ASC schedule opens on Sept. 28. UMHB hosts ETBU at 5 p.m. in the conference opener, followed by a contest against LeTourneau in Belton on Sept. 30.
The rivalry with Hardin-Simmons returns to Abilene this season, after UMHB beat the Cowgirls twice in Belton in 2022. That match is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Oct. 19.
The regular season schedule concludes with a home contest on Oct. 28, as the Crusaders host Concordia (TX) in what will be the final regular season conference matchup between the two programs before the Tornadoes leave the ASC for the SCAC in the summer of 2024. UMHB has won the last 15 matches against Concordia, dating back to the 2013 season.
The complete 2023 schedule is below:
Aug. 19: vs Angelina College (Exhibition): 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 25: vs Jacksonville College (Exhibition): 5:00 p.m.
Aug. 26: @ San Angelo State (Exhibition): 6:00 p.m.
Sept. 1: vs UW-Whitewater (neutral site): 5:00 p.m.
Sept. 3: @ St. Scholastica: 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 9: vs Ohio Northern (HOME OPENER): 7:00 p.m.
Sept. 12: @ Southwestern: 7:00 p.m.
Sept. 22: vs Texas Lutheran: 7:00 p.m.
Sept. 24: @ Trinity (TX): 1:00 p.m.
Sept. 28: vs ETBU (ASC OPENER): 5:00 p.m.
Sept. 30: vs LETU: 5:00 p.m.
Oct. 5: @ Howard Payne: 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 7: @ Sul Ross State: 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 12: vs Ozarks: 5:00 p.m.
Oct. 14: vs UT-Dallas: 5:00 p.m.
Oct. 19: @ Hardin-Simmons: 5:00 p.m.
Oct. 21: @ McMurry: 5:00 p.m.
Oct. 28: vs Concordia (TX): 5:00 p.m.