Texan Women’s Soccer joins NCAA ranks
By: Kyley Wilhite
Tarleton State University will have an official women’s soccer team starting in the fall.
“The addition of women’s soccer has been something we’ve discussed for many years, and, with our move to NCAA Division 1 (DI) and the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), the time is now to act on it,” Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Lonn Reisman said.
One player to look out for is defender Macie Johnson. She has played on the inaugural roster and is a transfer from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Johnson started playing on the team “Quest.” She moved her way up to club teams
Fort Worth FC, FC Dallas, Solar and the Dallas Texans.
“I’ve played defense for most of my life, so like right back and center back, but I am mostly a defender. I’m more of a ‘settle down and control the ball’ kind of player- you’re not going to see me just kick the ball around,” Johnson said. “I love to attack, but I’m always a defender first. I play to win.”
Expectations are high for the team. The previous Tarleton club soccer team was successful in their seasons and won two championships.
“Experience has a lot to do with it. So does work, as well as having that team come together and really just drive each other,” Johnson said. “It will push us even more forward, especially with the girls we have coming in to play on the team.”
Tarleton currently boasts about their men’s Club Soccer team, which plays under the Texas Collegiate Soccer League.
“Soccer, I think, is just the next best thing for Tarleton. It’s the number one growing sport in the nation, and I think that really shows here with Tarleton being an ever-growing college,” Johnson said.
Since there is no official men’s soccer team, many men play as practice players to challenge the girls.
Practice player William Eanes played soccer at Timber Creek High School and for multiple clubs, including FC Dallas, Liverpool International Academy and the Dallas Texans.
“Right now, we have about eight girls on average practicing with us. It’s too early in the season to make cuts on the team, but we are still having tryouts on Tuesdays at 4:30-6, and on Wednesdays at 6-7,” Eanes said.
The team will play in the WAC and will be a DI sport under Tarleton according to Tarleton Sports.
As of March 28, 2022, there is no official schedule for Women’s Soccer on the website.
Practice player, Matthew Wolf, commented about the head and assistant coach.
“We are led by Coach Rex most of the time, but the head coach is Pete Cuadrado. Coach Cuadrado is great at leading the girls, and is a very optimistic coach,” said practice player Matthew Wolf.
Cuadrado is currently putting a roster together for the fall 2022 inaugural team and has signed many girls according to Tarleton Sports.
“We really have that young blood that really wants to get out there and get at it,” said Johnson.
Cuadrado has been a head coach for the past 19 seasons, with the last nine at the University of Wyoming. He has a career record of 168-13-42 and has led two separate DI teams into championship programs.
“I was completely impressed with how the athletic department is a family and with how they are moving forward into the D1 transition. It’s exciting and humbling for me to be the first women’s head soccer coach at Tarleton,” Cuadrado said.
The soccer team promotes scholarship opportunities. In order to qualify, individuals must be full-time undergraduate students.
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