The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Instagram

Women’s soccer finds ‘Comfort’ zone

 Womens soccer finds Comfort zone
Women’s soccer finds ‘Comfort’ zone

Women’s soccer finds ‘Comfort’ zone

Senior standout is the second woman soccer player to earn The Player’s Club honor.

When Tara Comfort is on the soccer field the rest of the lady Mustangs’ feel comfortable with their leader, as does head coach George Van Linder, as

“The younger players on the team really think the world of her,” Van Linder said. “All of her experience really helps. It is like having a coach out on the field during games.”

All it takes is one glance at the 5-4 senior from Carrollton and quickly you see why she is leader of the squad.

Starting as a freshman in the program, Comfort quickly established herself as a player that could make opposing defenses uncomfortable. She recorded five goals and six assists, for a combined 16 points. She also lead the team with 41 shots taken throughout the season.

Comfort was named to Soccer Buzz’s Freshman All-American First Team and the All-Freshman Central Region Team. She was one of only five players to start 19 games for the Mustangs in 1998.

During the summer following the ’98 season Comfort was asked to represent her country by playing for the women’s team in the Pan-American Games.

In the fall of 1999 Van Linder took over the women’s program at SMU and knew he had a star player in Comfort.

“I didn’t know her as a person, just as a superior athlete,” Van Linder said. “I just had to hope that she would be able to handle the personal success and she has.”

Comfort couldn’t have done much more in her sophomore campaign to prove her worth to Van Linder and the rest of the team.

She picked up right where she left off in ’98 from an offensive perspective. Comfort netted nine goals, good for second highest on the team, and seven assists for a total of 25 points on the season. Putting points on the board was as easy as lacing up her shoes before the game.

The Lady Mustangs gained a berth to the National Tournament eventually losing to Penn State in third round. Comfort earned All-WAC First Team honors along with being named to the NSCAA All-Central Region First Team.

The 2000 season looked to be the bread and butter season of her career. However, a season ending injury changed the plans. A medical red-shirt allowed Comfort to retain her year of eligibility.

“Coming off of the injury I really realized how bad I wanted to play,” Comfort said. “When you have to just sit there and watch, it makes you want to come back and do it again.”

In 2001 Comfort came back from her injury a year older and a year more mature as a player.

“She came back and quickly established herself as a leader on the team,” Van Linder said. “She has never been the vocal leader, she leads by example on the field and with her work rate.”

Comfort couldn’t have said it better herself.

“I want the rest of the team to see me working hard and playing aggressively,” Comfort said. “I hope

that then they will want to play harder and more aggressively.”

Her play in 2001 was nothing short of brilliant. She scored seven goals and five assists and had 45 total shots on the season.

Comfort was named WAC Player of the Year, All-WAC First Team and NSCAA All-Central Region Second Team.

Once again the Ponies returned to postseason play. The Lady Mustangs came up just short in a 2-1 overtime loss to Texas A&M in the second round. The loss still holds a bitter taste in the mouths of the entire team.

“The whole team feels like that game was ours,” Comfort said. “We always play them hard; we know we can play at that level.”

The Mustangs are off to a good start. The Ponies are 3-1 and currently ranked 22nd in the nation in the NCSAA/Adidas Poll. With a player like Comfort on the field the Mustangs look to return to postseason play.

In the “How to be a Player Manual” under fact number 217, you’ll find a picture of Comfort. Next to the picture reads – ‘A true Player lets her game do all of the talking.’

Comfort’s ability on the field speaks volumes by itself and the rest of the team feeds off that drive. She is the leader of a team that has true potential and Comfort is one Mustang you should know.

More to Discover