The State Fair Community College (SFCC) Lady Roadrunners' soccer team is coming off the most successful season in program history. The postseason accolades are beginning to roll in. Six Lady Roadrunners were named to the Missouri Community College Athletic Conference All-Conference team.
Sophomore defender Karina Esquivel of Jefferson City, Missouri, freshman midfielder Hailie Acton of Fulton, and freshman midfielder Ria Kessell, also of Jefferson City, Missouri earned First-Team honors. Sophomore forward Jessica Coble of Sedalia, Missouri, freshman goalkeeper/field player Samantha Curphey of Kansas City, Missouri, and sophomore defender Kiara Williams of Sedalia, Missouri all earned Second-Team honors.
"Our women's team came together so well," said SFCC Soccer Head Coach Jaime Beltran. "They made some sacrifices on the individual level and bought in to the concept of 'team first.' In doing so, they accomplished a lot more than many might have expected."
Esquivel started in all 15 games for SFCC. She scored one goal, while attempting 13 shots, eight of which were on target. Esquivel made her only penalty kick attempt of the season.
"Karina is one of those players who had to make a sacrifice," said Beltran "I felt at the midpoint of last year, center back would be her natural position, but she had never played that position before. She started out in the midfield this year where she was more comfortable, but things were not clicking and we had some issues on defense. In the fifth game of the season, we made the position change and her move coincided with our winning streak and basically turned the whole season around."
Acton started in all 15 games for SFCC. She registered one goal and three assists on the season. She attempted 21 shots, 10 of which were on target. Her assist total tied for second on the team.
"She (Acton) literally played every position on our team this year, with the exception of goalkeeper, and did so well" said Beltran. "She is a very hard-working, blue-collar type of player."
Kessell started in all 15 games this season for SFCC. She contributed three goals, which placed her third on the team. She also registered three assists, which tied for second on the team. Kessell led her team in game-winning goals with three.
"Ria is deceptively quick," said Beltran. "She is another extremely hard worker who would play 90 minutes of every single game. She scored a huge goal for us against St. Louis. She is one of the players that other teams don't want to play against, which is a compliment to her."
Coble played in all 15 games, starting in 12 for her team. She finished second on the team in goals scored with six and second on the team in points with 12. She registered 24 shots, with 16 on target and scored two game-winning goals, which placed her second on the team.
"Jessica is a natural goal scorer," said Beltran. "She scored three goals against Central Methodist."
Curphey split her game time this season, starting as a goalkeeper and also playing on the field as needed. She scored a goal as a field player and registered 44 saves as a goalkeeper with a .733 save percentage. Curphey was also part of two shutouts in goal for SFCC.
"Samantha is another very versatile player," said Beltran. "Sometimes she would play in the goal the first half and play on the field in the second half. She never complained. I'm sure she would've rather been just playing one position so she could focus on that. She always did what the team needed and was a vocal leader. I believe her versatility is one of the reasons that she was selected for All-Conference."
Williams played and started in all 15 games as a sophomore for the Lady Roadrunners. She registered one goal and one assist. She attempted seven shots, five of which were on target.
"Kiara was kind of a beneficiary of Karina moving to center back, because Kiara was able to use her speed and quickness on the defensive side, but was also able to join the attack," said Beltran. "She was able to pressure players a little bit earlier. Kiara moving to outside back fit her strengths a little bit better.
SFCC finished the season 6-9, breaking the record once again for wins in a season.