ROARING TO THE GOAL
UHV’s student-athletes and Athletics staff worked hard to represent the university well both on and off the field even after the spring sports season ground to a halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The men’s soccer team advanced to its second National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national championship opening round after capturing both the Red River Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles. The men’s golf team broke into the NAIA top 25 with a No. 21 ranking before its season was cut short.
Ashley Walyuchow, who has served as UHV’s athletic director since the inception of the program in 2006, was named the 2019-2020 RRAC Athletic Director of the Year, an award decided through a vote of all RRAC athletic directors. In addition, men’s soccer head coach Adrian Rigby and coaches Lauren Leslie, George Kee and Alex Baez were recognized as the United Soccer Coaches 2019 Men’s West Region Staff of the Year for the NAIA.
Off the field, a record number of the university’s student-athletes were recognized for their excellence in the classroom with 78 named RRAC Scholar Athletes.
Here are some more of the year’s highlights for the Jaguars:
- Thirty-one student-athletes were named to the Fall 2019 UHV President’s and Deans’ lists, while 38 were recognized on the spring lists.
- Brody Patience was recognized on the NAIA Men’s Soccer All-America honorable mention soccer team
- The men’s soccer team broke into the NAIA Top 25 rankings for the first time in the program’s history when the team received a No. 22 ranking.
- Men’s soccer started the season off with a university-record 10-game winning streak before going on to record its best season ever with a 16-1-3 mark.
- Brody Patience was selected to the 2019 College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America NAIA Men’s Soccer first team as a forward. Patience and teammate Uriel Garcia also were selected to the 2020 CoSIDA Academic All-District 4 NAIA men’s soccer team.
- Four soccer players – Brody Patience, Connagh Wilks, Elizabeth Reyes and Elizabeth McDonald – received recognition on the United Soccer Coaches NAIA all-region teams.
- Eight members of the UHV men’s soccer team were recognized on the RRAC all-conference team. Oliver Nugent was named the RRAC Newcomer of the Year. Brody Patience, Brandon Watts, Connagh Wilks, Gian Marco Cordoba and Nugent all were named to the first team, with Uriel Garcia and Gifano Lubaki named to the second team and Sydney Tume given an honorable mention. Head coach Adrian Rigby was named Conference Coach of the Year.
- The women’s soccer team earned distinction as United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award winners for the 2019-2020 academic year. The team compiled a 3.13 GPA overall, and it was the third time during the last five years for the team to be recognized with the award.
- Four members of the women’s soccer team received RRAC all-conference honors. Elizabeth McDonald was named to the first team, while Amanda Bautista and Elizabeth Reyes were named to the second team and Nisa Ollivierre received an honorable mention.
- Softball head coach Lindsey Ortiz notched her 200th career coaching victory with a 5-3 win over Louisiana State University of Alexandria.
- Baseball coach Terry Puhl was left one win short of his 300th career coaching win at UHV after the season was canceled.
- Soccer defender Uriel Garcia was named both the RRAC Betty Etier Male Character Award winner and the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar first runner-up.