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Women Eagles Soccer Aim for Playoff Berth

As the soccer season nears its end, Oklahoma Christian University women’s Eagles soccer team have one goal: to reach the Lone Star Conference tournament. 

The Eagles currently stand 2-3-4 in the Lone Star conference and rank ninth overall. Head coach Evan Dresel explained how the playoff race is shaping up. 

“It’s gonna take a couple results to get us in,” Dresel said. “Where we are at ninth up to fifth in the conference is very similar, so we’re not scared.

Dresel spoke on how the team has taken this pressure to succeed.

“It’s been our best season since I’ve gotten here,” Dresel said. “The team went from seven wins in five years to six total wins this season. The conference tournament is always hard to make, but I feel great about where we stand.”

One standout player this year has been Junior forward and captain Kyla Lovelace. Lovelace scored the first hattrick in Oklahoma Christian history since moving up to Division II. Dresel shared how her performance and leadership on and off the pitch has helped the team. 

“I’m proud of her sticking it out and not giving up on herself,” Dresel said. “We need her to be scoring goals or setting up others to do so, and we need her to keep it up to have a chance at the conference tournament. But she is up to the challenge.”

Dresel also took time to highlight other players who have helped the team’s playoff chances. 

“Brooklyn, our center back, is one of the best defenders in the league, at least top 3 or 4,” Dresel said. “She scores penalties, has a long throw, good at tackling and being in the air, just good at everything. We rely on her a lot.

“We also have a couple freshmen that have stepped up for us this year,” Dresel said. “Ruta Andrews on attack has been great; Breanna Wooten has done well for us as a goalie. And Elise Foreman, a senior center midfielder. She has played awesome for us.”

Lovelace described what leadership looks like for her.

“It doesn’t change too much compared to when I was a regular player,” Lovelace said. “It’s just about keeping everybody together and on the same page, not letting anybody get separated.”

Lovelace said making the conference tournament this season is the biggest goal for the team. 

“For this season, our goal is to make the conference tournament,” Lovelace said. “I know it’s our biggest goal and challenge, but for us, we just have to go out and get the win the same as before.”

For senior defender and fellow captain Brooklyn Fink, knowing the team is still in the hunt for a playoff berth is energizing.

“Right now, we have nothing to lose,” Fink said. “We haven’t made it in a couple of years, so if we make it, it’s gonna be phenomenal. We’re all super excited, but we need at least one more win to get there.”

Fink also shared how she felt about having one last season left in her collegiate career.

“One goal for me is to just go out and give it my all every game,” Fink said. “As a team, we try to approach one game at a time. And while it hasn’t always worked out in our favor, we’ve still had some phenomenal games. As a team, we’re just trying to be positive and just keep going.”

The Eagles have three more games left in the regular season. On Oct. 28, they travel to Laredo Texas to play Texas A&M International University at 7 p.m., then host Dallas Baptist University on Oct. 31 at 6 p.m. Their last game of the season is in Odessa Texas against Texas Permian Basin on Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.

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