Blinn’s Chase, Kneedler, And Cantu Sign With Four-Year Programs
Blinn head coach Michael McBride and assistant coach Alexandria Jackson hosted sophomores Angel Chase, Lexington Kneedler, and Victoria Cantu and their families, friends, and teammates for a letter of intent signing ceremony inside the Kruse Center on the Blinn-Brenham Campus.
The three athletes will depart Blinn after a successful season that saw the Buccaneers clinch their second consecutive playoff appearance after qualifying for the NJCAA Gulf South District Tournament.
“Being such a new program, getting to see things come to fruition for our athletes so quickly and have the opportunity to go on to the next stage of their careers is quite special,” Blinn head coach Michael McBride said. “Signing day and graduation day are the two biggest days for us, and these players will be a part of both. That’s most important for us.”
(Blinn College’s Angel Chase)
Chase, a goalkeeper from Houston, is headed to NCAA Division II Northwestern Oklahoma State University (Alva, Okla.), where she will study business administration.
Chase played in 12 games for Blinn this season (all starts) and finished with 40 saves and a 75% save rate.
After accepting a reserve role as a freshman in 2020, Chase said a summer of hard work led to a fall season that kickstarted her recruitment and prepared her for the next level.
“I took my future into my own hands and just trained all summer and put in the work to show my coaches I could play,” Chase said. “When I got back to Blinn in the fall, I fought for the starting position and haven’t stepped off the field since. I really just found love for the game all over again. Once I hit my stride, I think schools started to take notice.”
(Blinn College’s Lexington Kneedler)
Kneedler will attend Division II Missouri Southern State University (Joplin, Mo.) after establishing herself as Blinn’s top ball distributor last fall. The midfielder from Pasadena, Texas, paced the Buccaneers with nine assists and added one goal of her own in 14 games (13 starts).
Kneedler thanked McBride and Jackson for their efforts in finding her a post-Blinn destination and said their efforts carried her recruitment to the finish line.
“They advertised me to a lot of schools and really got my name out there,” Kneedler said. “I’m thankful to Blinn and to coach McBride and Jackson for that.
“I’ve grown as a player, and I feel like Blinn has given me that opportunity and the experience I needed to test myself against tougher competition. I feel like I’ve achieved something here and it feels awesome.”
Kneedler said she plans to pursue a degree in kinesiology.
(Blinn College’s Victoria Cantu)
Cantu, of The Colony, Texas, will attend North American University (Stafford, Texas) – which joins the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in July – where she will study business.
Cantu played in 14 games with four starts last season, scoring three goals for the Bucs.
Team structure and high standards set by the Blinn coaching staff helped prepare her for the next level, Cantu said.
“A lot is expected out of you here, but the way your teammates and coaches support you and care about you, that makes you want to give your all,” Cantu said. “I think I grew as much as I did and earned a shot at the next level because of the people I had around me here.”
Since Blinn’s women’s soccer program got its start in the fall of 2018, each player has moved on to a four-year school.
“I have to give a hand to coach Jackson because she really works hard to get our players where they want to go after Blinn,” McBride said. “Having three more of our players sign today shows that this is real; players can come here hoping to move on to a four-year school and know that it’s a reality here.”
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 42 NJCAA national championships since 1987.