Hardin-Simmons junior forward Kenne Kessler spearheaded the Cowgirls as they rolled through the American Southwest Conference this season, outscoring opponents 75-3, and winning the conference tournament for the 15th straight year.
Kessler set a new ASC record with 35 goals on the year, tallying multi-goal games in eight contests this season including a five-goal performance against Belhaven and a pair of four-goal matches against Sul Ross State and McMurry.
This marks the first fully-healthy season for Kessler and it’s paid off. “Each of her first two seasons at HSU she had injury issues”, said HSU head coach Marcus Wood. “We never knew if she would get fully healthy. She was an All-Region Midfielder and Midfielder of the Year in the ASC as a sophomore while playing injured [and] if she was fully healthy we knew she could do special things.”
Kessler and the Cowgirls will host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division III Championship this weekend at the HSU Soccer Complex.
The Cowgirls are 19-0 and come into the tournament ranked third nationally. They will play Methodist University of North Carolina (9-10) in the first round at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Trinity (18-1) and Mary Hardin-Baylor (16-3-1) will play in the other first round game.
The winner of the two Saturday games will play for a berth in the Sectional round on Sunday at 1 p.m.