When Emily Lupton first stepped onto the campus of the University of Houston-Victoria, the UHV women's soccer program had yet to experience a winning season in the first four years of the program.
The senior forward from Preston, England, quickly made her presence known on the pitch and has rapidly seen the UHV program begin to make a name for itself with three consecutive winning seasons and three trips to the postseason.
Now, the senior is hoping she can help bring home the first conference championship and a trip to the NAIA National Championships to reality in her final season for the Jaguars.
"I have not only seen the program progress but all the individuals have grown as people and I think that is a huge part of it," said Lupton. "We have built a team that is going to be dedicated to reaching our goals and helping the team get to the next level.
"I expect the team to have the best year yet. I hope to get the conference ring as this is a goal we have been striving for the last three years I have been here. I want to give all I can to the team to help us reach that goal."
Lupton has done her part in her three-year career with the Jaguars as she holds or shares nearly every single-game offensive record, along with UHV's career records going into her final season.
The Jaguars have compiled a 32-17-3 record in her three seasons and are coming off back-to-back 12-5-1 seasons. Last season she was among the top individual players in the Red River Conference as she finished tied for the top spot or was second in six different statistical categories.
She shared the top spot in conference play for goals (6), goals per game (0.67), points (15) and points per game (1.67), while she was second in game-winning goals (3) and game-winning goals per game (0.33).
Lupton also shares the UHV single-game record for goals (13) and assists (7), while she holds the record for points (31), shots (53), shots on goal (33) and game-winning goals (5). She also holds UHV career marks for goals (37), assists (15), points (89), shots (148), shots on goal (92) and game-winning goals (13) as she begins her final season.
But even with all the numbers and records, Lupton knows there is much more that has to go into this season for the Jaguars to continue with their success.
"We need to find consistency as a team and as individuals," said Lupton. "We cannot have people thinking it's just going to happen. We have to work for it. We need to bring our A-game to every single practice and game in order to grow as a team."
Lupton says she is ready to do her part especially with 11 new players, including seven freshmen, joining the team this year.
"I think it is important for me to bring my experience to the team, especially helping with all the freshmen coming in to know what we are aiming for," said Lupton. "Being a leader is super important as a senior and that is exactly what I'm going to try and work for this year. I also would like to bring my skill level to an ultimate high to make sure I am at 110 percent for the team."
Lupton and the Jaguars will begin working towards their ultimate goal on August 14 when the team reports for preseason drills.
The Jaguars will scrimmage Texas A&M-International (Aug. 19) and Concordia-Austin (Aug. 26), before opening the regular season at home against Sul Ross State University on September 2.