HUNTSVILLE – Sam Houston State soccer kicking off the 2017-18 athletic calendar on Aug. 18 and over the next eight 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 second freshman is No. 12, Mackenzie Smith. She played at Cypress Ranch High School under Coach Victoria Parsons and was a three-time all-district honoree. Smith led the district in assists and was named first-team all-district in 2016 and offensive player of the year in 2016.

Why did you choose to further your soccer career at Sam Houston?
“I chose Sam Houston because I loved the way the team acted like a family.”

How would you describe your strengths on the field?
“I believe my strengths are awareness of my teammates, passing, and runs off the ball.”

What are some of your hobbies outside of soccer?
“Outside of soccer, I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family.”

Do you have any pregame superstitions?
“I always listen to music and wear my hair the same way.”

What are your personal goals entering the season?
“I hope to earn my position as center attacking mid or forward and to push myself to my highest potential.”

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
“I would visit Australia because it is a beautiful country with beautiful beaches.”

Who is your favorite soccer player and why?
“My favorite soccer player is Messi because of his ability to always put the ball in the right place and his awareness of his teammates.”

What three words would you use to describe yourself?
“I would describe myself as resilient, a hard worker, and a leader.”

What does a perfect day look like to you?
“A perfect day to me is either on the beach or under the night lights at the soccer field.”

If you could live in a book, TV show or movie, what would it be and why?
“I would live in the TV show The Office.”

If you weren't playing soccer, what sport would you be playing?
“If I wasn't playing soccer, I would be playing beach volleyball.”

Who are your all-time favorite artists/bands?
“Bryson Tiller, Khalid, Cody Johnson, Alan Jackson, Post Malone, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.”

Where is the most interesting place you've visited and why?
“The most interesting place I visited was Paris because it is full of music, art, and good food.”

If you had a bucket list, what is one thing that would be on it?
“Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef”