Updated: Feb 21
By Brianna Teaff, Copy Editor
Hardin-Simmons University women’s soccer seniors Taylor Bernal and Kendell Groom were named academic All-Americans by the United Soccer Coaches. Both Bernal and Groom attended the All-America Awards Ceremony and Reception in Baltimore, Md. on Saturday, Jan. 18.
For the 2019 soccer season, Bernal was named Third Team Academic All-American by the United Soccer Coaches. Bernal led the conference in goals scored and was the Offensive Player of the Year.
Groom finished the season with many awards as well. She was named First Team Academic All-American and Defensive Player of the Year in the American Southwest Conference. She was also named CoSIDA NCAA DIII Academic All-American and NCAA Division III All-American Defender by the United Soccer Coaches. Groom was named on the second team as an All-American and the ASC Defensive Player of the Year. She was also a first team all-ASC defender for the third time in her career.
Groom has been a United Soccer Coaches all-region defender for three straight years, an all-ASC academic selection and United Soccer Coaches scholar all-region player multiple times in her career. Groom ended her soccer at HSU as a Double All-American.
Groom shared how it felt and what it meant to be named an All-American. “It was an honor to be awarded All-America, both academically and on the field. All of the hard work for 18 years paid off and it was a great way to end my career. I am so thankful for my team and coach who helped me reach this goal,” Groom said.
Groom explained what the All-America banquet was like. “There were awards presented beginning with youth soccer all the way to Division I soccer for both men and women. There were a ton of people in attendance, which made it kind of overwhelming, but was also a true honor to be surrounded with such high caliber people,” Groom said.
Groom shared about her experience as a soccer player during her time at HSU. “HSU women’s soccer has shaped me into the woman, player and leader that I am today. I will miss the culture and memories that I have made over the past four years. This type of culture doesn’t just happen anywhere, and I will miss the opportunity to play with and against amazing woman while pursuing my dream as a collegiate athlete,” Groom said.