WICHITA — The Bethel College women’s soccer team was named the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Team of Character for the 2018-19 school year.

The team will be honored at the 13th KCAC Sports Management Conference Aug. 6 at Avila University in Kansas City, Mo.

“It doesn't surprise me my team received this award, due to the tremendous amount of work and service they do outside of the sport," Bethel coach Alex Hagan said. "Many of them embrace being part of something bigger than themselves."

The team held a 3.33 grade-point-average and spent many hours in community service.

"It is difficult to keep up with the soccer team's service to the community," Campus Pastor Rev. Peter Goerzen said. "From volunteering with the local Newton Soccer Community, to helping at the New Hope Homeless Shelter, our women's soccer program embodies the best of our institution's values and traditions of service and integrity."

Service projects the team undertook during the school year included:

• Working with the Newton Recreation Commission to coordinate a free U4 Soccer Kids Camp.

• Helping the Mennonite Central Committee to package disaster relief kits in the spring and helping put together meals that will be sent around the world to children as well as patients with tuberculosis or hepatitis.

• The players on the team worked with assistant coach Madison Hagan to help provide toys for refugee children in rough circumstances to help ease their transition to the United States. Hagan is a case worker for migrant refugees in Wichita. The players went to Walmart and bought several shopping carts full of toys and surprised the children with them.

• Volunteer work at the New Hope Homeless shelter--The team assisted in painting multiple bedrooms at the homeless shelter to help members at the shelter feel more comfortable during their stay.

• Individual players have taken it upon themselves to be involved in community service projects such as the Big Sisters program, volunteering time at camps for children with disabilities and helping out at local animal shelters.

"The Bethel College women's soccer team is an excellent example of what connecting to purpose should look like," Saint Francis Migration Ministries Program Manager, Madison Hagan said. "They strive to make lasting, impactful relationships throughout every community they encounter. It is obvious this team's goal is to give back to the community that supports them every time they step on the pitch."