Two weeks ago, the Bearkats sat near the bottom of the Southland Conference standings, trailing Texas State by four points for sixth place with little to no hope of making the conference tournament.
The Kats stood at 1-4 in Southland Conference play. They needed to start winning and win in a hurry. As close as the Bearkats’ previous contests had been, one win might be enough to spur the Kats forward.
On Friday, Oct. 26, the Bearkats visited Beaumont to take on first-year program Lamar and whipped them 5-0. All of a sudden, the Bearkats had confidence and that translated into momentum.
“I knew we could do it,” senior defender Tofi Chavez said. “It was just a matter of time before this team started clicking together. We have a young team and now we know how to play together.”
The Bearkats won three of their final four games including the season finale against the Southeastern Louisiana Lady Lions – a game in which Sam Houston State needed to win to qualify for the tournament.
Sophomore forward Alison Oakland provided the Bearkats’ only goal in the 1-0 tournament-clinching victory over the Lady Lions at Pritchett Field on Sunday.
The Kats now head into the tournament in Natchitoches, La. as a sixth seed – the same seeding and venue that the Bearkats advanced to the conference finals in 2005 where they lost to host Northwestern State 1-0 in overtime.
This season, the Bearkats play Texas-San Antonio in the first round. The last time SHSU faced UTSA, the Roadrunners defeated the Bearkats 3-0 in San Antonio.
Kickoff will be at 4:30 p.m. at Demon Soccer Complex.