Crusaders have embarked on a most difficult schedule, which has Incarnate
Word playing only three home matches. The schedule offers two unique features.
In cooperation with St. Edward’s in Austin, Incarnate Word will
play a total of seven matches in a form of round-robin play.
Then, twice during the season, the Crusaders will play in a Heartland
Conference crossover weekend. This year for the first time, the Conference
has seven competing schools. In order to provide a full regular season
conference schedule, and to determine seedings for the post-season conference
tournament, all teams will meet up for two weekends when the southern
teams will compete against the northern teams. Those events are set for
Dallas and Kansas City.
At the end of the spring season, both Crusader teams, men and women, were
involved in post-season play in the NCAA Division II. The Crusader men
finished second in the Heartland Conference but earned an invitation to
the Central Regional Tournament where they emerged as champions. Along
with the title came a trip to the national tournament where, unfortunately,
they lost in the first round. The team was ranked 20th in the nation.
John Newman was the Central Region’s coach of the year, and junior
Devin Wilke was
a First-Team Verizon Academic All-District.
On the women’s side, the Crusaders were Heartland Conference champions
and also advanced to the Central Regional Tournament. They finished the
season ranked 31st in the nation, and Newman again was regional coach
of the year.
Both the men’s and women’s teams have full schedules of meets
spread over September and October in advance of the NCAA Division II South
Central Regional meet set for the second weekend of November.
the fall schedules began at the end of August, the Crusader soccer teams
again were making national noise. The men made perhaps the biggest bang
by being among the top three teams in the Midwest Region and achieving
a national ranking as high as 11th during September.
The women also have flirted with high rankings in the early going. In
the pre-season national poll, the Crusaders were ranked seventh but fell
out of the elite teams after a pair of double overtime ties early. At
the regional level, after being ranked first, UIW consistently has been
in the top four all season.
After a quick start and an impressive won-lost mark in the early going,
the Crusaders suffered a series of injuries and finished the year at 25-26.
They did, however, win their way to second in the Heartland Conference
and catcher Liz Beyer was named NFCA Third-Team All-American.
Crusaders were second in the Heartland Conference tournament and ended
the year with a winning mark of 31-24. Will Carbonara, after earning his
bachelor’s degree, played his final year of eligibility and became
one of the most decorated student-athletes in UIW history.
The first baseman was a Second-Team Verizon Academic All-American with
his 3.94 grade point average in accounting. On the field, he set a school
mark with a .460 batting average and was named the NCAA Division II South
Central Regional player of the year. And, after the year was over, he
was one of only 29 Division II student-athletes in the nation to receive
an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship.
The Crusaders hosted the Heartland Conference post-season tournament at
San Antonio's Cedar Creek Golf Club. For the first time, all six Heartland
schools participated in the men’s tournament. Incarnate Word finished
And for the first time, the Heartland conducted a women’s tournament
and it, too, was played at Cedar Creek hosted by Incarnate Word. The Crusader
women were third.
TRACK AND FIELD
The Crusader men and women entered a full schedule of meets over the course
of the spring. Among the highlights was freshman pole vaulter Francisco
Leon who, literally, came within one inch of receiving an automatic qualification
to the Division II national meet. He did set a new UIW record with his
4.66 meter (16-0 feet) vault in a meet hosted by Abilene Christian in
The Crusader men, coming off a 25-4 season and a trip to the South Central
Regional semi-finals, are the pre-season pick to win the Heartland Conference.
Senior guard Jamar Love is the coaches’ pre-season pick as the Heartland
Player of The Year. Returning four starters, the Crusaders concentrated
on recruiting size and came away highly successful with the signing of
6-10 Fabio Teixeira and 6-8 Rafael Franco. The women, picked third in
the Heartland Conference pre-season poll, also spent the recruiting season
looking for an inside presence. The recruiting theme produced two 6-0
post players in Shamieka Buckley and Blair Redmon. Also in the pre-season
coaches’ voting, sophomore guard Amy Mueller was named to the all-conference
team after being the league’s outstanding newcomer a year ago.