The Bearkats snapped their three game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over Incarnate Word Sunday in San Antonio.
Despite losing their conference opener to Abilene Christian University 2-1, the Bearkats attacked first against Incarnate Word rather than making a late game run which crippled them against the Wildcats.
Sunday’s win kept Sam Houston State from free-falling in the Southland Conference standings.
“The team was very disappointed in our effort on Friday and they were determined to make a change,” head coach Tom Brown said.
The Bearkats limited the Cardinals to 12 shots on goal after surrendering 19 to ACU.
SHSU took 40 minutes to score the first goal against Incarnate Word, but once they went up 1-0, the Bearkats’ offense shifted into high gear.
In the closing five minutes of the half, the Bearkats recorded all three of their goals; two of the goals coming off Midfielder Shelby McDaniel’s corner kicks.
McDaniel commented that after the hard loss against ACU, it was important to bounce back with confidence to defeat the Cardinals and make the most of set pieces.
“We came out with more intensity and capitalized on opportunities,” she said. “We practice corners in repetition to get consistency from the kicker and the runs.”
The Bearkats’ defense halted the Cardinals’ attack, but let go of a shutout with seven minutes left in the match after a failed clearance from the back led Megan Baker to boot a shot past goalkeeper Magan Ross.
The late goal wouldn’t be enough for the Cardinals as the Bearkats held on to win their first conference game of the season.
The win not only snapped a three game losing streak for SHSU, but also provided Sam Houston with their first away win this season.
“It’s always harder playing on the road with bus travel taking a toll on us physically and mentally, but that’s just part of [the game],” McDaniel said. “We have to learn to come out ready to play no matter the circumstances.”
With 10 games left in the season, it’s too early to tell where SHSU will land in the final SLC standings that determine their seeding in the conference tournament, but the win helps the team get back on track toward a successful season.
“A lot of players contributed to this win and we hope to build on this throughout the season,” Brown said.
The Bearkats head to Lake Charles, La., to face McNeese State (5-4-1, 0-2) this Sunday at 1 p.m.