Having already earned virtually every award within her soccer career, Erica Crim Sudeck has nabbed another.
She was welcomed into the LeTourneau University Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2019 Saturday.
“It’s a great honor,” said Sudeck. “I had always hoped my name and picture would go up on their wall some day, but it wasn’t my end goal. Soccer is my passion, so I really just wanted to have fun doing what I loved and be with a community of people who also loved Jesus.”
Sudeck is the first women’s soccer player in the program’s 20-year history to make the hall of fame after a remarkable playing career that took place in the early years of LeTourneau’s soccer program.
With Sudeck, LeTourneau made the American Southwest Conference women’s soccer tournament for the first two times in school history and she still holds the career record at LETU for points (105), goals (44) shots attempted (274), and assists (17), and two single-season records for goals (19) in 2006 and shots attempted (92) in both 2005 and 2006 and tied for one single-season record for assists (8) in 2006.
While holding record is an honor, Sudeck said she doesn’t want to be remembered for a few numbers.
“I hope my coaches and teammates remember me for my leadership, dedication, and heart, and I want my legacy to be more than just my ability to kick a ball.”
During her time at LETU, she was named the 2006 ASC Offensive Player of the Year, three-time ASC First-Team Selection (2004-06), NSCAA All-West Division Second Team in 2006 and D3Kick.com All South Region First Team (2006).
Sudeck is a Henderson High School graduate and grew up loving soccer and basketball.
“As soon as I could walk, I took a ball with me wherever I went,” Sudeck said. “I started playing soccer when I was five. My dad started coaching me the year after that until I was about 10, when I went to play on an all boys team, the Henderson Eagles.”
Sudeck said her two older brothers were the reason she started playing and having her dad as her coach paved the way for her future success.
But at the time, soccer was not her number one focus.
“There wasn’t a girls soccer program at [HHS] at the time,” Sudeck said. “I played on the boys soccer team, but my main focus and my passion in high school was basketball.”
Sudeck signed on with the University of Texas at Dallas to play basketball after her high school graduation.
“I chose pre-med as my major, because I thought I wanted to be a pediatrician,” said Sudeck. “It wasn’t quite what I expected, so I decided to leave after the first semester.”
She said she felt lost after leaving UT Dallas and had plans to attend Kilgore College until she figured out what she wanted to do. It wasn’t long before she decided to pursue a degree in elementary education.
“I randomly went online one day and filled out a questionnaire for the women’s soccer program at LeTourneau University,” she said. “The coach at the time called me within hours, and the rest is history.”
Sudeck attended soccer camp at LETU when she was younger so the campus was familiar and felt a little like home.
“One of the best parts about playing close to home was my parents having the ability to come to all of my games,” Sudeck said.
While commuting from home, Sudeck said she didn’t spend a lot of time outside of classes and soccer on campus but meeting and falling in love with her husband, Jason, tops the list as a favorite memory from her time at LETU.
“I cherish the friendships that I was able to build with my teammates and classmates and the influence of many faculty and staff, with whom I am still in contact,” Sudeck said.
Following her LETU graduation in 2006, she moved to California with her husband and began her first job working as an attraction hostess at Disneyland.
Six months later, she began working as a church secretary before welcoming her first daughter, Riley, a year later.
“We are blessed with four beautiful, bright and busy kids: Riley (10), Samantha (8), Kyle (6) and Keegan (2), and raising them is a full time job,” said Sudeck. “I’m very grateful that God has provided a way for me to be home and for my hardworking husband who makes it possible.”
Sudeck and her family traveled to Texas for the hall of fame induction ceremony Saturday as part of the university’s 2019 homecoming.
Sudeck will join Sara Vestals (soccer, basketball and softball), Christian “Mickelboro” Haney (softball) and Mark Blessing (wrestling) in the 2019 class. The four will join 35 athletes, coaches and administrators, as well as two teams that have been previously inducted.