Blinn College women’s soccer to feature strong defense in 2019

The Buccaneers will rely on a strong defense and six returners to lead the team in hopes of clinching the playoffs for the first time in Blinn College women's soccer history.

Blinn finished the 2018 season with a 4-12-1 record and 3-8-1 conference record. This year, the Buccaneers are looking to improve upon their record as the program continues to build under new head coach Michael McBride.

Blinn returns sophomore middles Yasmine Cuadra (Cypress), Alyssa Correa (Cypress) Yadira Grimaldo (Guanajuato, Mexico), and Jillian Jackson (Austin), forward Janay Wilson (Giddings), and defender Kajol Prasad (Murphy).

In 2018, Cuadra recorded one goal and one assist, Correa scored one goal and tallied two assists to pick up all-region honorable mention honors, Jackson recorded one assist, and Wilson scored one goal and recorded one assist. Prasad started in 16 games and is expected to lead this year's defense.

"Our sophomores have assumed leadership roles and stepped in to help their younger teammates," McBride said. "The team has come together and is already showing a lot of team chemistry, which will play a role this season."

Blinn will showcase a lot of new faces on the field this season.

"There are a lot of freshmen on this year's team that have potential," McBride said. "We want to improve on last season's attacking and defending statistics and become a competitive foe to all of our opponents."

New to the goalkeeper position are freshmen Abigail Ritter (Dallas) and Hope Hillhouse (Amarillo). Ritter played soccer and tennis at Wylie East High School and Hillhouse earned all-district honors as a goalkeeper in 2018 and midfielder in 2019 at Amarillo High School.

Makayla Segura (Oklahoma City, Okla.), Lindy Jenkins (Brenham) and Allison McCrady (St. Louis, Mo.) will join Prasad in leading the defenders.

Segura played at Smithson Valley High School, Jenkins was named Brenham High School soccer's defensive Most Valuable Player in 2017 and 2019, and McCrady earned honorable mention accolades at Oak Ridge High School.

Illora Molina (Charlottesville, Va.), Carla Garcia (Nacogdoches), Keana Flores (Houston), Bethany Sorenson (The Colony), and Caitlynn West (Houston) will anchor the midfielders.  

Molina received honorable mention all-district honors at Midway High School, Garcia earned first-team all-district honors at Nacogdoches High School in 2018 and 2019, Flores earned all-district honors and was the team captain for two seasons at Klein Forest High School, Sorenson earned all-district honors at The Colony High School, and West earned all-district accolades at Oak Ridge High School.

Forwards Kaley Kaspar (Brazoria) and Karson Funderbunk (Houston) will be strong on offense.

Kasper was named all-district and all-county Most Valuable Player for three seasons at Columbia High School, while Funderbunk earned all-district honors and was named the team MVP at Cypress Ranch High School in 2019.

The Buccaneers open the 2019 season against Ranger College on Friday, August 23, at 2 p.m. on the road.

"We are looking to build on last season and enjoy this season," McBride said. "This is a fantastic college to be a part of and the players are proud to play for the Buccaneers and be part of the athletic tradition here."

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 41 NJCAA national championships since 1987.