After going 8-7-3 a year ago, a mix of experienced seniors, as well as some talented skilled freshman will carry the Midwestern State Women’s Soccer Team this season. Led by the number one goal keeper in the league, the Mustangs have high hopes for this year.
Headlining the Midwestern State Women’s soccer team this year is Lone Star Conference Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year, Courtney Burnette. Recording 16 wins, 13 shut outs, and 182 saves, Burnette is making history at MSU as only a junior.
“She’s a great shot stopper, so her athleticism is what stands out first, but I think more than anything it’s her mindset. She’s tough. She’s a kid that is so dependable because of her toughness and her attitude, she’s a kid that came in and red-shirted, and two years later is third in the record books as far as shutouts, and she still has two years…She’s not the tallest kid, she’s not the fastest kid, but she’s become one of the strongest athletes through just pure hard work,” says head coach, Damian Clarke.
Burnette’s skills between the pipes aren’t her only qualities that impact the field dynamic, “She’s a kid that does a very good job to I think allow players around her to feel comfortable, and also take instruction, and try and do things the way that she does, which she leads by example.”
Clarke knows that good goal-keeping isn’t the only thing that will put check marks under the “win” column…
They’re are also going to need to score goals, “We’ve got experience in Destiny and Nicole. Destiny has proven that she’s going to score goals. Nicole, in the spring, also scored goals, I think both of those kids in the spring scored four goals a piece. And that combination of having those two experienced players mixed with two of our younger kids, I think is going to be very difficult to deal with. Avery Lewis is extremely fast, long, strong athlete. She was New Mexico Player of the Year. What Hanna Mattinson is capable of doing, I think she will be a player that’s going to make her mark. She’s probably one of the smartest footballers on the team, and she’s eighteen years old.”
Senior captains Liz Navarette and Aly Wade lead a strong group of strong center midfielders. “We’ve already faced some challenges that I think are going to be good for us, so instead of facing them later on in the season, we’re facing them right now I think. So hopefully that will just carry our momentum,” says Navarette.
Clarke says resiliency will be an important factor to success this year, “We’ll lose a game, at some point, how does that group respond? What do we do in that moment? But I think we’ve got a bit more maturity in us this year.”