Soccer - Women's Varsity
Head Coach: Hector Cano
Assistant Coaches: Brian Kaestner, Spencer Valdespino
Women's Soccer Program Overview
Playing women’s soccer at Saint Mary’s Hall (SMH) signifies becoming a member of a soccer family with a long distinguished tradition of success both on the soccer field as well as in the classroom. SMH fields both a highly competitive women’s varsity team and developmental junior varsity team. Both are members of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) and compete within the Division II (5A), District 4 classification. In addition, SMH offers an all-girls Middle School soccer team that competes within the Independent Schools Athletic League (ISAL) of San Antonio as well as a co-ed Lower School soccer program that competes as a member of the San Antonio Christian Athletic League (SACAL).
Our Mission: “Create a culture of Building Champions on and off the field by fostering an environment that embraces the standard of teamwork and excellence in everything we do, every day.”
Our Vision: To leave a lasting legacy of integrity, servant leadership, and success by building the SMH Soccer Brand and making SMH Soccer the premier private school soccer program in the region and among the most respected in the state of Texas.
The SMH women’s soccer program is identified as one of the oldest, private or public, soccer programs in the state of Texas. With highly talented and experienced student-athletes, dedicated coaches, fiercely loyal supporters, and first- class facilities, SMH women’s soccer is recognized as one of the top private school opportunities in South Texas. The focus at both levels is to improve the entire student-athlete with the holistic approach in mind. This is accomplished with the implementation of the program’s Core Values; Character, Integrity, Respect, Leadership, Followership, Accountability, Teamwork, and Coachability. From there, the focus is placed on the student-athlete’s performance by emphasizing technical skill development, in-depth tactical training, and a highly advanced strength and conditioning program. As SMH culls its talent from both soccer-specific and multi-sport athletes, all three phases of training are inherent to the ongoing success of the program.
The SMH women’s soccer prides itself on excellence both on and off the field. SMH Soccer has been awarded Team Academic award from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (Now United Soccer Coaches) for 16 consecutive years and once held the second longest continuous streak of the prestigious award in the nation. Over the last 10 years, the varsity team has enjoyed 10 consecutive winning seasons, including Southwest Preparatory Conference Division II Championships in ’08 and ’09, Tournament Champion of the UIL sponsored, Fredericksburg Tournament in 2016 and 2017 TAPPS Division II District, Area, and Regional titles and State Semifinalists, and 2018 Area title and Regional finalists.
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Hector Cano serves as Director of Soccer and Head Varsity Women’s Soccer Coach at SMH. As Director of Soccer, Coach Cano oversees the leadership and vertical alignment of the entire SMH soccer program for Forms 1-12, as well as 11 staff coaches. Coach Cano also serves as Director of Athletics Media and Sports Performance. Cano, now in his second stint at SMH, where he has helped lead the Barons to seven state playoff berths along with two SPC Tournaments, as well as a TAPPS District, Regional and two Area and two Bi-District titles and a berth in the 2017 TAPPS State Tournament. He has over 15 years of coaching experience, having coached at the Division I collegiate level at the United States Air Force Academy, high school, and club levels in both Texas and Colorado, as well as at the semi-professional level in Europe. A staunch advocate for the development and support of Prospective Student-Athletes (PSA) wishing to play at the collegiate level, he has over 12 years of experience assisting athletes and families navigate the college recruiting process. A retired Air Force veteran, Cano most recently served as Head Coach at Ysleta High School (UIL) in El Paso, where he led the resurgence of their women’s soccer program with their first winning season in six years, and their first 10-game winning season in 12 years; coming within one game of qualifying for the state playoffs in one of the toughest UIL soccer districts in the state. A graduate of Wayland Baptist University (BAS) and the University of The Incarnate Word (MS), he also holds a USSF National "C" License and USSF National Youth License in addition to an NSCAA (United Soccer Coaches) Director of Coaching Diploma, Premier Diploma, and Level III Goalkeeping Diploma. Coach Cano is currently under consideration to pursue his Master Coach Diploma and Certificate from United Soccer Coaches through the University of Delaware.
Brian Kaestner enters his 43rd season coaching at Saint Mary’s Hall. A long-time staple of SMH Soccer, Coach Kaestner now serves as the Head Women’s Junior Varsity Coach in addition to being the Head Assistant for the Varsity women’s program. In his new role, Kaestner will focus primarily on the expedited technical and tactical development of sub-varsity student-athletes and preparing them for transition to the varsity level in an optimum timeframe. Coach Kaestner also serves as SMH Soccer Tournament Director for all three of SMH’s varsity and sub-varsity soccer tournaments as well as the coordination of any travel tournaments for SMH Soccer. During his tenure as Head Women’s Varsity Coach, Kaestner amassed over 500 wins, winning SPC Division I Championships in ’89 and ’90 and SPC Division II Championships in ’83, ’08, and ’09. He was honored as Texas High School Coach of the Year by the NSCAA in ’99, ’04, ’06, ’07 and as the Southwest Region Coach of the Year in ’92, ’99. Kaestner also has over 15 years of club coaching experience in San Antonio, including being a member of the South Texas Youth Soccer and Olympic Development Program coaching staffs and holds a USSF National “B” License and an NSCAA National License. In addition to his coaching duties, Kaestner also serves as a Science Department instructor with specialization in AP Environment Science and AP Human Geography.
Spencer Valdespino A native of Spring Hill, Florida, Coach Valdespino has been with Saint Mary’s Hall since 2018 and serves as Assistant Coach for the varsity women’s soccer program. Valdespino focuses primarily on the midfield and attack with an emphasis on technical development. A highly decorated athlete in her own right, Valdespino was a standout forward for the Nicholls State University Colonels from 2012-2015 and holds virtually every offensive record in program history. She was also named the 2013 Southland Conference Women’s Soccer Player of the Year and to the 2013 United Soccer Coaches All-Region Team. In October of 2022, Valdespino was named to the Nicholls State University Athletic Hall of Fame, becoming the first-ever soccer athlete to receive the honor. A gifted coach, Coach Valdespino also serves as Head Assistant Coach for the NCAA Division III national power, Trinity University women’s soccer program. In 2021, Coach Valdespino was a key member of the women’s soccer coaching staff selected as the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division III West Region Staff of the Year.
Lauryn Lewis A native of Carrollton, Texas, Lauryn is in her first year serving as Goalkeeping Coach for the women’s soccer program at SMH. In addition, Lewis is a member of the Trinity University women’s soccer program and current starting Goalkeeper. A graduate of Creekview High School, Coach Lewis is a two-time Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD Goalkeeper of the Year recipient and has extensive playing experience at the club level, having played for DKSC (ECNL). Coach Lewis is a biology major and is interested in becoming a Sport Medicine Physician or Orthopedic Physician.