Five from UCA named all-conference
After a season in which they reached the 10-win mark for the second-straight season and earn the fourth seed in this week’s Southland Conference Tournament, the Central Arkansas Bears had five players earn All-Southland Conference honors.
Senior Stacia Carroll was named to All-SLC First Team, and fellow senior Alex Moore earned Second Team honors, while juniors Kristen Ricks, Ashley Smith, and Lauren Mercuri were all named All-Southland Honorable Mention.
Caroll, from South Jordan, Utah, built upon an All-SLC Second Team campaign from last season to emerge as one of the Southland’s most dominant center backs, commanding a UCA defense that limited its opponents to 1.11 goals per game, the third-lowest mark in the league.
Moore, from Yukon, Oklahoma, repeats as an All-Southland Conference Second Team selection. She emerged as a multi-faceted attack option for the Bears, tying for third in the SLC with six assists while adding a team-high three goals, all of which were game-winners.
Ricks, a native of Keller, Texas, split time between the UCA back line and midfield this season, excelling in both roles. At left back, Ricks is a key member of a UCA defense that held its opponents to 12.5 shots per game, 1.42 shots per game below the league-average.
Smith scored 11 points, tying for the team lead with four goals and adding three assists, a figure which was the second-best on the Bears. She netted a pair of game-winners while ranking second on the team in both total shots and shots on goal.
Mercuri, from Gig Harbor, Washington, proved herself one of the strongest keepers in the Southland Conference this season, going 8-4-0 while playing 1039:02 in goal for the Bears.
The fourth-seeded Bears open their SLC Tournament appearance on Wednesday at 5:00 PM, against fifth-seeded Houston Baptist.
Bears open with HBU in SLC soccer
The Central Arkansas women’s soccer team will make its fourth Southland Conference Tournament appearance in the last five seasons on Wednesday, taking on the Houston Baptist Huskies.
The first round matchup between the fourth-seeded Bears and fifth-seeded Huskies is set to begin at 5 pm..
Central Arkansas (10-9-0, 7-4-0 SLC) enters the SLC Tournament having won three of its last four matches, including a 2-0 defeat of Houston Baptist (7-6-3, 6-3-2 SLC) in Conway on October 15th. The Southland Tournament opens play with four first-round matches tomorrow, with kickoff times set for 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM, 5:00 PM, and 8:00 PM. The winner of the match between Central Arkansas and Houston Baptist will advance to a semifinal match at 7:00 PM on Friday against either top-seeded Lamar or eighth-seeded Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.