HUNTSVILLE – Sam Houston State soccer kicking off the 2017-18 athletic calendar on Aug. 18 and over the next several weeks, we'll introduce you to the program's eight incoming freshman.

The unit looks to help the Bearkats make their return to the Southland Conference Tournament for the eighth time in nine years. The group includes three midfielders, three defenders and two forwards while six of the eight hail from Texas and the other two coming from Tulsa, Okla., and Phoenix, Ariz.

Our third freshman is No. 16, Baylee Ford. She played at Georgetown High School under Coach Sam McCutchen and was selected first-team all-district and academic all-district. Ford was awarded team defensive MVP and was elected team captain junior year while helping the program to three playoff appearances.

Why did you choose to further your soccer career at Sam Houston?
“I chose Sam Houston because as soon as I walked on campus it felt like home!”

How would you describe your strengths on the field?
“My biggest strengths are winning balls out of the air, set pieces, and being a leader.”

What are some of your hobbies outside of soccer?
“When I'm not playing soccer I love to be outdoors jogging and hiking.  I also love finding new music, watching Netflix, shopping and playing with my boxer dogs.”

Do you have any pregame superstitions?
“Before games I have to put all of my right foot gear on first and then the left side.”

What are your personal goals entering the season?
“My main goal my freshman season is to get a lot of minutes playing as center back.” 

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
“My grandmother and I have always talked about visiting Paris and hope to go together someday because it seems magical.” 

Who is your favorite soccer player and why?
“I really like to watch Julie Johnston on the USWNT because she gets out there and fights!”

What three words would you use to describe yourself?
“Aside from the obvious of being tall and blonde, I am outgoing, caring and lovable.”

What does a perfect day look like to you?
“My perfect day would be laying on a beach, reading a good book and listening to Texas Country with some Chuy's queso & jalapeño dip and a sweet tea.”

If you could live in a book, TV show or movie, what would it be and why?
“I would want to live in House of Cards because I adore Claire Underwood and love watching their lives surrounded by politics.  I hope to pursue a career in some type of government role but obviously I would hope it would not be as corrupt as the show.”

If you weren't playing soccer, what sport would you be playing?
“Volleyball”

Who are your all-time favorite artists/bands?
“Cody Johnson (from Huntsville), Flatland Calvary and Roger Creager”

Where is the most interesting place you've visited and why?
“I really liked Seattle because of the markets and shopping and hiking.”

If you had a bucket list, what is one thing that would be on it?
“I really hope to skydive some day!”