Trojan Soccer shows out on Senior Night
The Little Rock Trojan soccer team took on Mississippi Valley State on Friday, Sept. 9 at the Coleman Sports and Recreation Complex. It was Senior night, and turned out to be a victorious one for the ladies as they won 2-0.
Thirty-two minutes into the game, senior Kayla Turner had the first goal of the night, taking her shot from way back, with the assist from Jaclyn Purine. It was Turners’ first goal since her freshman season in 2013.
Senior goalkeepers Shara Robbins and Sara Cavanagh split duties for the night and succeeded in shutting out MSVU. This was Robbins first career start.
Junior Quin Wilkes guaranteed the win with a shot that made it past Mississippi Valleys goalie Rita Gyasi, in the eighty-sixth minute of the match. Gyasi made fifteen saves for the night but it was not enough to stop the Trojans. Little Rock outshot MSVU 38-0, 17 of those shots on the goal.
Defensive midfielder Mikayla Uyokpeyi is one of the seniors playing for the Trojans this season, she has played for the Trojans all 4 years she has attended UALR. The people are her favorite part about playing at UALR.
“Any athlete can tell you that they love they game they play, but it’s a bonus when you’re surrounded by people that will fight for you and love you unconditionally.”
Her dream is to play soccer professionally, whether it be for a club in the United States, or one overseas. But Mikayla has dreams outside of the world of soccer.
“I also want to go into the marketing field and find a job that allows me to help organizations design their own brand so they can promote themselves efficiently.”
Senior Hali Long, who plays centerback, says it has not really set in yet that this will be her last season playing for Little Rock.
”Out of everything I love about playing at Little Rock, I love the team. We’ve had players come and go, but this group we have for my last year here has been the best yet. We’re already so close with great chemistry and that shows on the field. I wouldn’t want my last year to be with any other people.”
Hali spent her summer, as co-captain of the Filipino National team. She missed preseason here in Little Rock, but was able to compete in three matches against Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore. She really enjoyed her time there.
“It was a really great learning experience and I gained even more family in the Philippines.”
Long still is not sure about her plans after graduation. She is majoring in Health and human performance with an emphasis in promotion and minoring in Exercise science.
“I’m either going to go to grad school, or continue playing soccer as long as my body will let me!”
Little Rock played Kansas State on Sunday night at the Coleman Complex and won 2-1. The Trojans will play again on Friday night against Texas State, the match will take place in San Marcos, TX. Their next home game will take place on Sunday, September 25th at 1:00 p.m. That will be Little Rock Rangers Day at the Complex.
Lady Trojans take straight sets victory
On Saturday, October 1, the Lady Trojans volleyball team played host to the ULM Warhawks on Beach Volleyball Night. Little Rock took a straight sets win in the contest, looking the stronger team throughout the match.
Little Rock got off to a hot start, taking a 10-2 lead early in the first set. The Trojans did not relent and held a 20-9 lead when ULM called its first timeout. Coming out of the break, the Trojans continued to play well, comfortably winning the first set, 25-11.
ULM played more aggressively in the second set, and at one point trailed the Trojans just 15-11. As the set continued, the Trojans pulled away with very strong team play, winning the set 25-13. Going into the break, Little Rock had led the entire match, with ULM never able to establish momentum.
Though trailing 2 sets to 0, the Warhawks came back on the court refreshed and confident entering the third set. For a time, the teams traded points. ULM took its first lead of the match holding an 8-10 lead on the Trojans at one point. Like the Warhawks had done in the first set, the Lady Trojans called a timeout to regroup. They came out of the timeout a rejuvenated team, reeling off 9 straight points to take a 17-10 lead. Louisiana-Monroe would not go away quietly, though, and battled back late to trail only 24-21. Little Rock held 3 match points and did not let ULM get any closer, taking the third and final set, 25-21 for a straight sets victory.
Several Trojans shined in the game. Sophomore Setter Taylor Lindberg finished with 35 assists, while senior Outside-Hitter Marina Avram had 7 service aces. Sophomore Middle-Blocker Veronica Marin had 11 kills, and fellow senior Middle-Blocker Edina Selimovic posted a .409 hitting efficiency. Also, senior Miona Milovanovic posted a .417 hitting efficiency.
When asked about her thoughts on the game, Little Rock head coach Van Compton said, “I was glad to come back and get a win tonight because I felt like we gave one away last night. I thought the kids played up… with spirit… I’m glad to get the win.” Compton also noted a few of the evening’s standout players, but added, “Tonight’s match was really hard to point out any one (person)… everybody hit positive… It’s hard to say one person.” Team play was the theme of the night, with all the Lady Trojans playing well.
A strong straight sets win was exactly what Little Rock needed after a tough 5-set loss Friday night. The team will have a few days off before hitting the road for games versus UT-Arlington and Texas State on Friday and Saturday.
I Am With You
To all the women, people of color, Muslims, immigrants, disabled, and LGBTQ people of America: I am sorry. I’m sorry that hate and bigotry won the presidential election. I’m sorry that we now live in a country that tells us that being who we are is wrong and that ignorance and prejudice is now validated from the highest office in the land.
Hope and progress were on the ballot, but sadly, an overwhelming amount of voters voted out of fear rather than aspiration. Donald J. Trump, loser of the popular vote, is set to become the 45th president of the United States of America.
To the women and girls who inspire me everyday: don’t stop believing that someday soon, someone that looks like you will finally make it clear, once and for all, that females are truly capable of doing anything that a man can. You have to continue to lean in and never lose hope. I am with you.
To my friends of color who know all too well that the road to justice is a long and slow climb: you are worthy of dignity and respect. We must fight together to protect the legacy of President Barack Obama–a president that so many tried to discredit based off the color of his skin rather the content of his character. I am with you.
To the millions of Muslim-Americans that provide so much to this country: you are our Constitution in action. Although you may feel threatened under this new administration, just know that so many of us have your back. You belong. I am with you.
To the immigrants who have sacrificed so much to get here: welcome. You are strong and you are brave. America is your home and you deserve the opportunities to thrive and make a better life for yourself. I am with you.
To the disabled people that feel less than: you prove to us everyday just how strong and capable you are. You are an inspiration. Don’t let a bully in the White House bring you down. I am with you.
And last, but certainly not least, to my lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer brothers and sisters: we know injustice and know that the road to equality is long but ultimately know that we will prevail. We are strong and we are fighters. I am with you.
To the ones who voted against us: we’re still here. We’ll be here every step of the way, daring to compete and putting up a resistance to every policy that tries to strip away our right to live an open and peaceful life. Although it didn’t this time, love will ultimately trump hate. We are millions strong and we will rise!
Athlete to Watch: Kaitlyn Pratt
Basketball season is finally here and the Trojans are hoping to continue the success they had last season.
The Lady Trojans have started off the season with a win at home against North Texas, their next three games on the road proved difficult losing three in a row at Green Bay, #16 Oklahoma and Fordham, but there are still of plenty of games left in the season. Even though the team is off to a slow start, Kaitlyn Pratt is not.
Pratt, who also goes by K.P, is a 21-year-old senior from New Orleans who started playing basketball in elementary school. By the time she was at McDonogh 35 College Prep High School, she helped her AAU team win a national championship. She also helped get a team state championship for her high school with the track and field team. She was also named Louisiana Gatorade High School Player of the Year her senior season.
Her talent has continued into her college career. Pratt, who plays forward and wears number 40 on the court, has been named SunBelt Player of the Week, averages 27 minutes of play per a game, and has played every game the Trojans have the past two seasons.
This season she is averaging 9.5 points per game and 5.5 rebounds. For the 2015-16 season she started 26 of the 33 games.
“The team, the atmosphere here, it’s really quiet, and I’ve grown to really love it,” Pratt said.
The Trojan’s approached Pratt early in her recruiting process and she decided she liked what she saw and moved to Little Rock.
“Kaitlyn has really developed into a great leader for her teammates,” Coach Joe Foley said. “She’s a great player to have apart of our team.”
Being from New Orleans, Pratt is a fan of the New Orleans Saints and the Pelicans. When it comes to athletes she admires, Pratt does not have the average picks. “Its not really professional athletes but athletes around from UALR or from my previous high school that I look up to,” Pratt said.
When she gets a chance to be in her hometown she enjoys spending time with her family. When she’s in Little Rock and not playing basketball, which is not very often, she enjoys just hanging out with her teammates.
Pratt takes basketball seriously, but her work in the class room also matters. She is currently earning her bachelors in social work. As for her plans after graduation, she wants to stay here in Little Rock.
She is not ready to leave UALR quite yet.
“I want to stay here and apply for advanced standing in grad school for social work,” Pratt said.