HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The mention of William Carey soccer in late November has become sort of a broken record.
The Crusaders have created a standard of success among both the men and women’s soccer programs. Both teams host first-round matches in the NAIA championships on Saturday at Crusader Field.
The Lady Crusaders (16-3) host Missouri Baptist University at 1 p.m. followed by the Crusaders’ (17-0-1) match with Reinhardt at 3:30 p.m.
During his tenure, coach Danny Owens has led the women’s team to seven straight NAIA national tournaments.
"We've been practicing a lot and we are very, very focused on our goal,” said William Carey sophomore Ana Paula Santos, named SSAC player of the year earlier this month. “And I think everybody's just focused on our goal and doing what we have to do."
In his third season as head coach, Barry Farrell has led the men’s team to 51 wins and just five losses. The Crusaders captured their second SSAC title in three years on November 9.
"Work, like we practice every day,” said William Carey senior Joaquin Ruiz Cabello, who earned the men’s SSAC player of the year. “Especially in preseason, it's really tough. Three times a day, gym sessions. It's really tough but I think hard work pays off."
“I think it goes back to, like you said, a winning culture,” Farrell said. “Create that. It doesn’t happen overnight. We’ve done a good job of bringing in local talent from Mississippi. In the last three years, just winning conference tournaments and leagues, it’s just created that winning culture.”