This weekend the girls’ soccer team was at UTEP in the Texas El-Paso Border Classic. In the first round the Bearkats played UT El-Paso and lost 5-0. Sam Houston had eight shots on goal while UTEP had 25.
Bearkats’ starting goalkeeper, Melissa Sauceda, had six saves while Ashley Zendt, who had two saves, played in goal for the final 23 minutes of the game.
Sam Houston’s defensive strategies held up against the nationally ranked Miners until the 29th minute of play when the Miners beat the Bearkats’ offside trap and on a breakaway and put the ball past Sauceda and put up a 1-0 score for the home team. An offensive flurry followed from the Miners and by the 32nd minute El-Paso was up 3-0. Two more goals were scored by UTEP in the second half to put the game away. UT El-Paso went on to beat Texas State 4-0.
In the second round of the Border Classic, Sam Houston was beaten by Western Carolina 4-2. Mary MacGregor, a junior from Houston, scored both of Sam’s Goals. In the 27th minute of the game, MacGregor tied the game 1-1 by one-timing a bouncing ball from inside the box. In the 49th minute MacGregor scored again on a partial breakaway with a pass from Yoanna Garcia, which took the Catamount’s lead down to 3-2. In the last 10 minutes of the game WCU scored again to seal the victory over Sam Houston.
Western Carolina, along with UTEP, was unbeaten in the tournament this past weekend. WCU also beat Texas State (conference rivals for the Bearkats) in a 3-1 match.
Both WCU and UTEP are top teams in the nation and Coach Oliviera’s Kats seems to be improving, as they held up well against these extremely tough opponents. The Bearkats have shown that they are hardening their defense by holding off UTEP, for the first 29 minutes of the game.
Western Carolina won the Southern Conference championship last year, and Sam Houston, while overmatched on paper, made their opponents work hard for the win.
This season Sam Houston’s soccer team should be an exciting sport to watch and follow as they head into their conference play.
Next week on Wednesday, the Bearkats play Stephen F. Austin at home on the intramural field. SFA is ranked ahead of the Kats, but they have not been facing the same caliber of competition Sam has. It will be a good match to watch.
Tomorrow the Bearkats play TCU in Fort Worth and on Sunday they play Texas A & M in College station.
The Kats stand at 2-5 now and will open the Southland Conference season Sept. 27 vs. SFA.