2001 season proved to be the best ever for the Crusader women's soccer
team. A final mark of 18-2 was a school record for victories. UIW won
its third straight Heartland Conference championship and received its
second bid in three years to the NCAA Division II National Tournament.
After an opening round victory at home over West Texas A&M, the Crusaders
went to Denver for the regional finals and got revenge for their only
regular season loss with a 3-1 triumph over Regis, then ranked number
three in the nation. The Crusaders ranked ninth in the nation advanced
to the Elite Eight in Division II, but lost a heart-breaker 2-0 at the
University of California, San Diego, the defending national champions
and the team which would eventually win another national title. UIW swept
the honors for the Heartland-Coach of the Year, Tina Patterson; Player
of the Year, Brooke Hopkins; Goalkeeper of the Year, Missy Howard; and
Freshman of the Year, Jamie Gunthorp. Seven Crusaders were voted all-conference.
Brooke Hopkins ended her Incarnate Word career as the all-time leader
in points and goals scored. Four players-Audrey Gould, Katie Heier, Whitney
Welsch and Lindsay Mijares were nominated for national academic honors.
The Crusaders produced their second straight winning season with a final
mark of 18-16. That record included a third place finish in the Heartland
Conference tournament after wins over Drury (MO) and higher seeded St.
Mary's. After the tournament, senior outside hitter Keelie Rader was voted
all-conference, the second year for her to receive that honor. Rader,
along with sophomore Julee James and Adria Martineau were nominated for
Verizon Academic All-America honors based on their on-court performances
and their standings in the classroom. During the season Coach Mark Papich
reached the 100-win plateau for his career at Incarnate Word.
Under the guidance of new Coach Dennis Currier, the Crusaders continued
the winning tradition at Incarnate Word with a final 12-8-1 season mark.
That included winning the Heartland Conference championship after sweeping
through the post-season tournament undefeated. Currier was voted conference
coach of the year and sophomore Ricardo Lara was co-MVP of the league.
Fernando Jorge was named freshman of the year for the Heartland. Five
players were named to the all-conference team at the conclusion of the
season. Incarnate Word was ranked number five in the NCAA Division II
Midwest Region. Lara and Matt Hood were named to the Verizon Academic
All-District Team, while Lara was named NSCAA All-America third team.
Both the men's and women's teams competed in three cross country meets
during the fall. The teams also traveled to Joplin, Mo., in early November
to run in the NCAA Division II South Central Regional meet. Gilbert Salinas
and Cecilia Iniguez proved to be the most consistent Crusader runners
over the course of the season.
The Crusaders, both men and women, entered the New South Intercollegiate
Swimming Conference championships in Cleveland, Miss. On the women's side,
UIW's Dorothy Ingle finished sixth in the 400-yard individual medley event
while Jennifer Gillen was eighth in the 200-yard freestyle.
This was the first year for UIW to sponsor a synchronized swimming team.
While the event is not yet fully sanctioned by the NCAA, Incarnate Word
did host a three-meet schedule in the new Ann Barshop Natatorium. The
University of Alabama at Birmingham and Ohio State came to San Antonio
for competition with UIW. Also, the Crusaders posted their first-ever
dual-meet victory over Stanford University.
Heartland Conference co-championship and an invitation to the NCAA Division
II post-season tournament were the highlights of an outstanding season
for the Crusader men. Coach Al Grushkin's team had a final mark of 25-4,
with the fifth most victories in school history. UIW was the third seed
in the South Central Regional Tournament and defeated Tarleton State in
the first round before falling to Northwest Missouri, the eventual winner
of the regional event. In the final poll, Incarnate Word was ranked third
in the South Central Region. At the end of the season, All-Heartland Conference
first team honors went to Derrick Lang and Jamar Love while Chris Johnson
was second team. Also, Love was voted newcomer of the year.
The Crusader women made significant improvements over Coach Angela Lawson's
first year at Incarnate Word. Finishing the year 11-16, the team won twice
as many games as the previous season, including ending 5-5 in the Heartland
Conference in fourth place. Post-season Heartland Conference second team
honors went to Amy Mueller and Michelle Viverette. April Walker was honorable
mention all-conference. Mueller also was voted freshman of the year.
a different strategy than their baseball counterparts, the softball Crusaders
got off to a fast start on their season with a six-game winning string
and by mid-March were working on a better than .500 record. The first
weekend of March the Crusaders played in the prestigious Schutt Leadoff
Classic in Irving, Texas, and in that event defeated West Florida, then
the number five team in the nation. Also, the Crusaders hosted their own
Alamo Invitational which featured 12 of the top NCAA Division II teams
in the region. UIW again will compete in the Heartland Conference Tournament
set for the final weekend of April.
In the early going the Crusaders struggled with a series of injuries to
key players but by mid-March had fashioned a seven-game winning string
and had pulled the record to the .500 mark. With a 50-game schedule the
Crusaders have an excellent opportunity to post another winning mark.
In mid-May UIW will go to the Heartland Conference Tournament as the defending
men's team is seeking another invitation to the NCAA Division II regional
tournament while the Crusader women this spring for the first time are
fielding a complete team. This spring the men will play in five tournaments
in advance of the Heartland Conference post-season event set for mid-April
at San Antonio's Cedar Creek Golf Club. Meanwhile, the UIW women's team
have a schedule of four tournaments.
TRACK AND FIELD
As in past springs, the Crusader track and field teams will be competing
in events with goals of posting times and distances which will merit invitations
to the NCAA Division II Championships in late May. The Crusaders will
enter six meets this spring seeking the qualifying levels.
Both the men's and women's teams will be seeking return invitations to
the NCAA Division II regional tournaments, repeats from a year ago when
both squads were among the nation's best. Prior to the regional tournaments,
the Crusaders will play in the Heartland Conference post-season tournament
set for late May in Springfield, MO.