HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Danny Owens has coached countless No. 1 ranked soccer clubs in his 15 seasons at William Carey.
Though, he admits there’s a different feeling when the Lady Crusaders take the field as the defending NAIA national champions.
Every team looks to knock Carey off the throne – the Lady Crusaders have responded with a 7-0 start to 2019. WCU has posted six shutout wins, the only goal yielded to No. 2 Keiser in a 2-1 overtime victory.
"That's what we play for is to keep our title,” said junior midfielder Gabby Vincent. “Every single game, every practice we come out here, that's what we're working for is to keep that."
"We won, but that was last year,” said junior midfielder Ana Paula Santos, the reigning SSAC player of the year. “That’s there, we haven’t won anything this year. We’re a whole new team. Personally, I play the same way – like I never won and like I want to win for the first time."
"I think we embrace it,” Owens said. “We kind of say we embrace the bullseye. We know the bullseye’s there. After last year, those expectations are high and the returners have done a good job of leading and letting everybody know what's expected."
William Carey continues its defense of the 2018 National Title with a visit to No. 25 Westmont College on Thursday at 4 p.m.