Hill College soccer teams begin 2021-22 season

  Jessyca Brown
  Tuesday, August 31, 2021 8:40 AM

Hillsboro, TX

The Hill College women’s and men’s soccer teams are off to a fast start with a tie and a few wins in their first few matches of the 2021-22 season on the road against Rose State College, Eastern Oklahoma State.

In the season openers on Aug. 19 versus Rose State, the No. 12 Lady Rebels drew the No. 13 Raiders 1-1 after a double overtime. The men upset the No. 15 men’s team with a 2-1 win. Freshmen on both Rebel teams were standouts, as midfielder Raegan Dash scored the women’s only goal and forward Seal Elad scored the winning goal late in the men’s game.

“We had stellar defensive performances by sophomore Liliana Meijia and freshman Ella Brown who shut down a returning 1st Team All-American for Rose State,” said Hill College’s head soccer coach for both teams, Paul Davenport. “The men had numerous chances to make the game a blowout but had to work very diligently throughout the entire game.”

Both Hill College teams stepped it up in their second games against Eastern Oklahoma State on Tuesday. The men’s team earned a shutout win of 3-0, and the women’s team won 2-1.

Davenport, who is in his 11th season as head of both programs, said he’s pleased with the start of the season.

“We expect to maintain the culture of winning that has been established in years past,” he said of this year’s teams. “For the girls, it’s stay humble with the preseason national ranking and focus on the big picture, which is to win the region then district and qualify for nationals. For the men’s side, it’s refocus the efforts to reclaim the region title and work their way back into national rankings and get back to nationals.”

The teams are coming off an unconventional 2020-21 Covid season, but Davenport said the teams coped well. The men finished with an overall 2-5-2 record. The women finished 10-3 and claimed their seventh straight Region V championship title.

“The lessons learned were simple for both teams—more is required to win championships,” said Davenport. “The effort and commitment to win has to be given day in and day out. The returning players realized that a sense of entitlement cannot exist, and hard work is the only way to achieve the team goals. Now they can share that knowledge with the incoming players.”

Several returning players on both teams earned regional awards last season.

On the men’s team, returning sophomores Mondyhal Bol and Antonio Juarez earned Region V All Conference/All-Region awards. Honorable mentions include sophomores Koki Kamizono, Jesse Rivera, Daniel De La Cerda, and Callum Dobbs. Kamizono and Rivera were also named to the All-Tournament Team.

The women’s Region V All Conference/All-Region players include returning sophomores Fernanda Pena and Alondra Rangel. Meijia earned honorable mention. Pena was also named to the All-Tournament team and received the Tournament MVP award. Davenport earned the Region V Women’s Coach of the Year award.

Since joining Hill College, Davenport has established the soccer programs as regionally and nationally respected programs. Combined, both programs have achieved numerous program firsts and school records including 11 Region V titles, three district titles, and four trips to the NJCAA National Championship tournament.

Both teams’ first home games will be Oct. 1 against Ranger. All home games will be played at The Depot at Cleburne Station located at 1906 Brazzle Blvd. in Cleburne. Admission is $5 per person, and free to Hill College faculty, staff and students with Hill College ID.

Both teams are prepared for potential schedule changes due to Covid. Fans are encouraged to check the @HillCollegeAthletics Facebook page and the athletics web page at  http://www.hillcollege.edu/athletics/ regularly for updates.


21-22 Soccer teams