Above photo by Russell Marwitz/True To The Cru/russellmarwitz.com
BELTON- Coming off of an NCAA Tournament appearance, the UMHB men’s soccer team has announced its 2023 slate, featuring a home duel against 2022 NCAA Tournament qualifier St. Thomas (TX), seven non-conference contests, and a full nine-match stretch in ASC play.
The Crusaders, under the direction of second-year head coach Ben Allen, come off a 2022 campaign that saw UMHB post a 13-3-2 record and win the American Southwest Conference championship in a 6-0 victory over LeTourneau.
They are looking for more of the same heading into 2023, and will begin their season on the road, battling Rhodes and Hendrix in Conway, Arkansas, on Sept. 1 and Sept. 3, respectively. Rhodes went 4-0-3 in the SAA play last fall and Hendrix was 8-4-4. UMHB has never faced either in its recorded program history.
The home opener is set for Sept. 8, with UMHB battling Texas Lutheran at 7:30 p.m. TLU is building on an 8-4-5 record from 2022, and last year’s match in Seguin between the Cru and Bulldogs resulted in a 2-2 draw.
Highlighting the non-conference portion of the schedule is UMHB’s Sept. 10 home match against St. Thomas, who finished the 2022 season ranked No. 15 in the final D3Soccer.com Top 25 poll. UST posted a record of 16-2-3, and reached the 3rd Round of the NCAA Tournament. This marks the first regular season matchup between UMHB and UST since 2007.
Matchups against Austin College, Trinity (TX), and Southwestern round out the non-conference slate, before ETBU comes to Belton for the ASC opener on Sept. 28. Oct. 19 features a duel with Hardin-Simmons, as HSU head coach Brad Bankhead will face his former team for the first time. That road match, played in Abilene, will see UMHB aiming to beat HSU in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2019.
As usual, UMHB closes the regular season with a match against Concordia (TX), who defeated the Cru, 5-1, in Round Rock last October. UMHB is 2-2 against the Tornadoes since 2019.
The complete 2023 UMHB men’s soccer schedule is below:
Aug 19: vs Angelina College (Exhibition): 5:00 p.m.
Aug. 25: vs Jacksonville College (Exhibition): 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 1: vs Rhodes (Neutral site): 5:00 p.m.
Sept. 3: @ Hendrix: 12:00 p.m.
Sept. 8: vs Texas Lutheran (HOME OPENER): 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 10: vs St. Thomas (TX): 6:00 p.m.
Sept. 14: vs Austin College: 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 22: @ Trinity (TX): 7:00 p.m.
Sept. 24: vs Southwestern: 7:00 p.m.
Sept. 28: vs ETBU (ASC OPENER): 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 30: vs LeTourneau: 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 5: @ Howard Payne: 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 7: @ Sul Ross State: 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 12: vs Ozarks: 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 14: vs UT-Dallas: 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 19: @ Hardin-Simmons: 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21: @ McMurry: 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 28: vs Concordia (TX): 7:30 p.m.