Bearkats hope to cave in Lady Miners

The SHSU soccer team will attempt to move over the .500 mark for the first time in its brief history as the University of Texas-El Paso Miners come to Pritchett Field at 1 p.m. on Sunday.The Bearkats are coming off a weekend in which they dropped a match 9-1 to Oklahoma State, but rebounded with a 3-0 shutout of Prairie View. Head coach Marcia Oliveira said she expects tough competition from the Miners. “They are very close to the level SMU plays,” Oliveira said. “They have a good recruiting class and, they’re going to be very strong.” SMU beat SHSU 10-1 in the season opener.UTEP is 2-2 this season, having allowed four goals in four matches, including two shutouts. UTEP goalie Kyla Clark was named Defensive Player of the Week by her conference last Tuesday.The Bearkats will have to produce offensively to counter UTEP’s defense, according to Oliveira. One player Oliveira thinks will boost the team’s offense is Tynice Friday. Friday has scored four goals and has four assists this season, leading the team in both categories. Oliveira also expects Kim Brown and Stacy Smith to be key players. Smith, along with goalkeeper Melissa Sauceda, captains the team.Oliveira said that while she expects UTEP to provide the Kats with competition similar to SMU and OSU, she expects a more finesse-oriented game from the Miners. “They are not known as a very physical, aggressive team, as OSU was,” Oliveira said.Oliveira said the team has progressed beyond her expectations at this point in the season. She believes playing prominent opponents has helped accelerate their progression. “They are learning pretty fast,” Oliveira said. “We learn new things as we go. Every game so far has had some teaching tools.”Although they have come together quickly, the players need to improve their defensive knowledge and compactness on the field, according to Oliveira. Oliveira believes her team will eventually improve in those areas of the game and become consistently competitive.Oliveira said she has seen a lot of progress from one game to the next. “I think we’re going to do better than I expected,” she said. “I’ve been seeing a lot of progress in a very short period of time. I believe the best of this team is yet to come.”

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