Blinn College women’s soccer enters first season with drive to succeed

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New head coach Jorden Smith is excited to take over the first Blinn College women’s soccer program in history.

“Our success this season is not going to be defined necessarily by wins, but by how we compete,” Smith said. “We want to represent Blinn College and the city of Brenham by playing good soccer.”

In March, Blinn announced the addition of men’s and women’s soccer for the Fall 2018 season.

Smith landed her first head coaching position for both the Blinn men’s and women’s soccer teams after spending the last two seasons as the head assistant for the Angelina College men’s and women’s soccer programs.

“I am looking forwarding to coaching the players in both programs and can’t wait to see how much they grow,” Smith said. “It’s an exciting group that has already shown so much grind and effort. I wouldn’t want to do my first season as a head coach with any other group of players.”

Angelina College transfers Hailey Burke (League City, Texas), Allison Camacho (Houston, Texas), Ashley Mora (Texas City, Texas), Ryleigh Smith (Alvin, Texas) and Kaela Stripling (Lufkin, Texas) account for the only sophomores on this year’s team.

Forward Burke played in 16 games where she scored three goals and recorded one assist last season. Midfielder Camacho scored three goals in 16 games, while midfielder Mora started in 14 games where she scored five goals, recorded four assists and posted a .833 shooting percentage. Defenders Smith and Stripling each recorded two assists last season and saw significant playing time as starters.

“They all bring a lot of experience to the team and know first-hand what to expect in our conference,” Smith said. “They have an insane amount of knowledge of the game and are great leaders who will raise the tempo and intensity when we compete.”

Freshman Kayla Bonilla (Houston, Texas), Kaysi Gordon (Austin, Texas), Katherine Rabold (The Woodlands, Texas), Kayleigh Reyes (Texas City, Texas) and Gabriella Rodriguez (Victory, Texas) will lead the midfielders.

Bonilla earned all-district honors for three seasons with Mayde Creek High School, Gordon went to the playoffs with Gateway College Preparatory twice while earning first team-all district honors and Rabold went to the playoffs with The Woodlands College Park all four years of high school while picking up first team all-district honors. Reyes was named Texas City High School’s Most Valuable Player and Female Athlete of the Year in 2016, while Rodriguez went to the playoffs with St. Joseph High School for three seasons and earned all-district honors twice.

“We are going to be able to plug in a lot in the center midfield position who can both attack and defend as well,” Smith said. “We are really going to have creative lines in the midfield to create a lot of opportunities and will really benefit from that.”

Defenders Alyssa Correa (Cypress, Texas), Kajol Prasad (Murphy, Texas) and Maria Resendes (Giddings, Texas) will play a crucial role on defense for the Buccaneers.

Correa went to playoffs with Cypress Woods High School for two seasons and earned all-district honors, Prasad was on the varsity squad for four seasons at Plano East Senior High School where she earned honorable mention all-district honors twice and Resendes was named the Most Valuable Player at Giddings High School while helping her team to playoffs for three seasons.

“Our back line communicates well with our goalkeepers and are able to stay balanced as a unit,” Smith said. “We are definitely ready for the season on defense.”

Zoe Madrid (Calallen, Texas) and Taylor Campos (Brookshire, Texas) will lead the goalkeepers. Madrid earned second team all-district honors as a goalkeeper at Calallen High School in 2017, while Campos was named Royal High School’s Most Valuable Player in 2018

“They are learning a lot and their progress has been phenomenal,” Smith said. “Madrid is very vocal and offers great communication skills and Campos is a tough competitor.”

The Buccaneers will open the season with a conference game against Angelina College on Saturday, Aug. 25, at 2 p.m. at Rankin Field.

“The women’s soccer team is holding itself to a high standard this season,” Smith said. “Our team has a lot of drive and are excited to be the first women’s soccer program in Blinn history.”

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 38 NJCAA national championships since 1987. For more information, visit www.buccaneersports.com