Women’s soccer coach earns 200th career win, team starts 4-0 in conference


Courtesy of SEU Athletics Communications

In his 14th season as the head coach of SEU women’s soccer, Nick Cowell earned his 200th career win on Sept. 26 against Texas A&M International. Since then, the team has won three consecutive games and are undefeated in conference play.

St. Edward’s University women’s soccer team started their season off on a high note with a record so far of 4-0. It’s an impressive way to make some noise to the other teams competing in the Lone Star Conference. 

Nick Cowell, head coach for the women’s team, expressed his thoughts on the team’s perfect record . 

[It] is a good foundation to build a strong season on, but we will have much more difficult games to endure over the next six weeks.” 

Cowell goes on to explain how the team tries to improve with each game they play. 

“Every week we try to get just a little bit better. It is hard in college soccer because of the compressed schedule & training time has to be limited. We are always battling the desire to acquire more tactical cohesion with the need to be mentally & physically fresh for the next game.” 

Since the start of the new season, Cowell has accumulated over 200 wins in 13 seasons. He says that there are a lot of components that come together in order to win a game.

“When you think of all the players, staff, training sessions, set plays, & luck that goes into winning just one game, it is mind-boggling how many things have to fall into place to win consistently over time. I can remember every one of the 44 losses over the last 13 seasons, but few of the victories, because we move on so quickly to the next game.”  

Cowell also said the outstanding players on the team have been the players “who haven’t played at all, or who have played sparingly so far this season. Their attitude to continual improvement & their commitment to making training highly competitive has elevated the level of our practices every day.”

A few of the members of the team gave insight into not only the ambitions the members have for this season, but also the tight knit community they’ve created. 

India Wentz, a senior who plays forward and midfield for the team, said that some of the team’s goals for this season. 

Our biggest goals are to win our conference, make the conference tournament, make the NCAA tournament, and go on to at least advance to the Elite 8.” 

Wentz also mentions how the team reflects on past games and how to improve their performance for future games.

We always reflects on the positive and negative things that we did in the game. We discuss the things that worked well against teams, as well as the things we need to improve on.” 

Annie Halls, a junior defender for the team, expressed similar goals that the team takes in order to improve not just as a team, but as individuals as well.

 “Each week we try and take things from the game that we can improve on as a team but also individually we’re working everyday to better ourselves because if we can all improve by just a little bit each time that contributes to the whole team improvement everyday.” 

Halls also expressed her thoughts on the perfect conference record that the team has gained in the early stages of the season. 

“Having a 2-0 record in conference is the start we wanted. The fact that we were able to score 11 goals in the first two games and really come out and make an impact sets the tone for the rest of the season and starts us off in a good place. There’s always room to get better, and while we celebrate our victories we make sure to focus on what we can do to get even better.”

Before games, Halls said that the team has different ways to hype the players up and sticks together after games, regardless if they won or loss.

“We always make sure to pump each other up and give each other energy and confidence before we step on the field. But we also make sure to hold each other accountable at practice and during games and set a high standard for each other to play at a high level. After games we always try and stick together, no matter the result, and not splinter off into smaller groups. We make sure to keep the team together whether we win or lose and I think that just builds everyone up and makes us all want to play for each other.” 

Wentz comments that while on and off the field, she tries to reach out and check in on players to see how they’re doing in both their personal lives and to keep a tight knit community. 

 “I really try to communicate to our players and sort of check in to see how all aspects of their lives are, not just soccer… and know that I am not just a teammate but also a friend and supporter of them. We try to do team bonding activities every once and a while or before big games.  These activities can be as simple as a 15 minute activity that can be related to things we want to do on the field, or just going and enjoying a team meal all together for one night.” 

Halls comments about what she does on and off the field is similar to that of Wentz.

 “I try and check in with everyone, not just about soccer but about how they’re doing in school and other areas because to succeed you need to have a well balanced life outside of athletics. I also make sure to have friends and talk to people in other classes, not just other juniors. I think this contributes to the overall unity of the team and is something as a whole that we all really focus on and make a point of.”

In her last year at SEU, Wentz expressed that “the impression I ultimately want to leave is to never give up.  The minute someone on the team gives up is the minute the rest of the team does too…I want to be remembered as a teammate that never gave up and who always tried her absolute best on and off the field for her team.” 

The Hilltoppers are set to host UT Permian Basin Thursday, Oct. 10 at 4:30pm.