Women’s Soccer Recap

Lady Statesmen Celebrate Winningest Season Yet


Delta State University

The Delta State women’s soccer team, 2022-2023, poses on media day.

In his third season as head coach, Mark Hiller helped the Lady Statesmen Women’s Soccer team break its record for the most program wins in a season. 

Coach Hiller, Assistant Couch Una Einarsdottir and the players went 7-4-2 in the 2022 Fall season in the GSC. That’s 10-7-2 including non-conference games. Keeper Bailey Daugherty gained the record for the most shutouts in a season.

The Season in a Nut(meg) Shell

Non-conference play started off well with a 2-0-win versus The University of Missouri at St. Louis, and the season had its highs and lows from that point onwards. They won in conference vs Auburn University of Montgomery, Shorter, the University of West Alabama, the University of West Georgia, Valdosta State, Union and Spring Hill, tied against Christian Brothers and Mississippi College and lost to Montevallo, Lee and the University of West Florida. 

The team gathers for a pre-game pep talk.

The Lady Statesmen started the season with a big incoming freshman class, so it was somewhat inevitable that there would be some growing pains along the way. For the most part, the new members slotted right into their spots on the team. Freshmen Casey Stalder, Ava Steven and Ava Webster joined senior Hannah James to form Mark Hiller’s trusty backline for the season.

“In the early weeks of our season, we certainly took some time finding our feet within the team, especially when it came to learning about how each person played,” Steven said. “But after several games, we definitely formed greater understandings of one another and from then on, everything only got better.”

Quarterfinal Heartbreak

After finishing sixth in regular season play, the team faced a quarterfinal matchup against third seed, The University of West Alabama. Given their win over the Tigers 1-0 earlier on in the season, the Lady Statesmen entered the game confident and ready to fight for a spot in the semi-final. 

However, at minute 20:41, UWA opened the scoring from 15 yards out from the goal. Looking for a quick response, Hiller made some substitutions before kick off. Within four minutes, Robyn Moody teed up Jae’lasha Julien with a cross Julien headed soundly into the back of the net. 

Although both teams fought hard for the remaining 66 minutes of regular time, plus 20 minutes of extra time, the game ultimately went to penalties. It was here that UWA were able to get the lead, winning 4-2 in penalty kicks.

I think that the upcoming season is going to be even greater.

— Ava Steven

“I do believe that the team could’ve gone so much further and it’s safe to say that we gave everything we had to get as far as we could but it wasn’t quite enough,” Steven said. “Despite our season coming to an abrupt end, one positive that came from the loss and the season altogether would be that the relationships we created only grew stronger.”

She added, “I think that the upcoming season is going to be even greater.”

The Lady Statesmen women’s soccer team are in their spring training currently, working hard in the weight room and on the field in preparation for their spring games. These games will set the tone for the team before they leave for summer break, ready to come back in the fall and fight for the green and white of Delta State once again.