Lady Tiger soccer team wins to bring home GAC conference title

December 7, 2023

December 7, 2023

By Madison Basco, Copy Editor

The Ouachita Women’s Soccer team has been rejoicing in their victory as the champions of the Great American Conference (GAC) that took place Nov. 9-12. 

The team competed against Southern Nazarene in the semifinals on Nov. 9 and won 1-0. Then, on Nov. 12 they played in the finals and won against Oklahoma Baptist University. 

Junior Abbey Inman explains what the preparation was like leading up to the team’s big win. 

“Preparing for the week of the tournament was like any other week prior in the season,” Inman explained. “We studied film on other teams, trained specifically to what would help us win against the same teams and worked really hard in those training sessions.” 

The team beat Oklahoma Baptist University, 1-0. Inman explains her feelings during the moment of their victory.

“I watched as my teammates celebrated and thanked God for all that He had done for us during the season,” Inman said. “I was more happy for my team than for the trophy. It was so surreal and a huge celebration.” 

Inman recounts the best part about being a part of the team. 

“[Being on the team] is a platform I have been given by the Lord where I can have skills and talents and give Him all the credit for that,” Inman explained.  “I can also encourage my teammates in any area of life and know that they will encourage me back. I love that we get to play a game that we all love together, knowing that He hand-picked us all to be on this specific team to do good works for Him.”

Inman explains that through this victory she has learned the importance of discipline and grit, acknowledging that hard work is the most important aspect of being on a team. 

“I have learned that there are bad days and that they are bound to happen, but if there is 100% effort given, then that’s all that matters,” Inman explained.  “I have also learned the importance of each role on the team. Those who have been injured all year long and those who played plenty of minutes on the field are just as equally important to the success of a team.”

Inman explains how gaining the GAC championship title has changed her perspective. 

Because the team won the conference championship, they automatically got a bid to the NCAA tournament. The team took a trip to Kansas as a seed eight in the NCAA tournament. They played the number one seed, Washburn University, where they took them to overtime, and fell short 1-0. Their goal next year is to make it even further into the NCAA tournament. Head Coach, Kevin Wright is proud of his team and the hard work they executed this year. 

“We ask a lot from them throughout the year so it is really neat to see them reap the benefits of their work,” Wright explained. “We tell them often that the game more time than not gives you what you deserve. Does your commitment, work rate, engagement deserve positive results? It’s really fun at the end of it to be able to see a group deserve those moments.”

Wright hopes to see his team achieve great things in the future.

 “[It] feels great to watch a group of players that are so committed to our program and in the process reach their goals,” Wright said. “I really try to take it in because it really is special to watch them celebrate. I think all programs just want to take the next step. We feel good about this group and look forward to really good things from them.”

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