Women’s Soccer Unstoppable

Forward #10 Bella Granada (left) passes to defender #20 Ashleya Farrell (right) while #96 Jade Press (back) stands guard. The Comets have not yet had a goal scored against them. Photo By Ashwin Sangareddypeta | Mercury Staff

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This season, UTD women’s soccer team has been an unstoppable force, winning every game without a single goal scored against them. Here’s everything you need to know to get caught up.

The Comets are currently 6–1–0 overall, paving the way for an impressive introduction for the team’s first season with head coach Stephen Shirley and assistant coach Rachel Holden. Both have an extensive history in athletics. Shirley was a men’s volunteer coach between 2016 to 2017 before becoming the men’s assistant coach for soccer between 2021 to 2022. Holden, who was inducted into the University of North Texas Athletics Hall of Fame for her NCAA DI career in October 2022, is a newcomer to UTD. 

“It all started off with a kind of clean slate,” Shirley said. “Everybody has the opportunity to impress, to go out there and perform, to make an impact. So I think the expectation is a little bit different.”

In terms of gameplay, the Comets have been masterfully in control of the ball, dictating the direction of the field with precision and ferocity. Compared to the opponent’s statistical averages, the Comets are excelling in scores for everything except for saves, mostly because there is little opportunity for the opposing team to even take the ball. 

“I just think players that are arrogant are going to play better than players that are unconfident,” Shirley said. “We got a way that we want to play. We want to impose no matter who we play. We want to be on the front foot. We want to press, we want to have the ball. We want to dictate the game.”

The Comets are currently placed as second best for both defense and offense in the ASC, and currently hold 10 game leader positions for best individual statistics. Those recognized on the leaderboard include junior goalkeeper Jade Press, senior forward Sierra Foster and senior midfielder Kate Crowe.

Press hasn’t allowed a single goal against the Comets for eight games in a row, earning her the award for ASC Women’s Soccer Co-Defensive Players of the Week Sept. 18. She’s currently the No. 1 player in the ASC for shutouts, having played 9 games for 810 hours, made 29 saves and only allowing one goal so far in the season, giving her a 0.11% average for goals allowed per game.

Foster is currently leading the Comets with the most points and assists scored. A routine team player, Foster has jumped the ASC ranking as No. 6 for assists, No. 8 for points earned and No. 10 for game-winning goals. So far, she’s considered the best offensive player this season for the Comets.

Crowe is leading her best season yet, earning the award for ASC Women’s Soccer Offensive Players of the Week Sept. 18, and accelerating in the ASC ranking to place No. 6 for game-winning scores, No. 7 for assists and No. 9 for goals scored.

Another rising star, freshman defender Jenna Wilkinson, has played full time for each game and was awarded the Tri-Defensive Player of the Week Sept. 11. Additionally, senior defender Peyton Guidry won Women’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week Sept. 25, earning her third Player of the Week award.

The team has primarily focused on keeping the ball, staying true to their lessons in practice. 

The Mercury has the latest game report online, along with player profiles on Press and Crowe. 


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