Good Deeds Through Soccer

For the fourth consecutive season, Sam Houston State University Soccer advanced to the Southland Conference Championship Tournament.

During their visit to Conway, Arkansas, the Bearkats went 2-1, earning them second runner up in the SLC Tournament.

During the tournament opener, the Bearkats came out victorious against Central Arkansas last Thursday after defeating the Bears in penalty kicks 4-3, the third penalty kick victory for the SHSU Soccer program.

During the match against UCA, SHSU goalkeeper Kylie Hambelton, who didn’t allow a goal the whole tournament, captured all three shots on goal posted by the Bears while the Bearkats’ offense posted 26 shots against the UCA goalkeeper, the second highest of the season.

Of the 26 shots posted by the Bearkats, Cannon and Ashley Alanzo took six shots each while Allie Johnson took five and Shelby McDaniel posted four.

Mariah Titus, Meredith Carlson, Katie Bunch and Johnson each put a penalty kick into the back of the net, advancing the number three-seeded Bearkats to the semifinals.

During the semifinals the Bearkats defeated the number two-seeded Houston Baptist University 2-0.

Johnson, an all-conference honorable mention, placed two shots in the back of the net during the first half, giving the Bearkats a 2-0 lead.

During last season’s SLC Championship tournament, the Bearkats were up against the Huskies in the same round where they fell to HBU 4-2 in penalty kicks.

Moreover, the victory was also redemption for the Bearkats from the 1-0 loss against the Huskies in the regular season.

After defeating HBU, the Bearkats advanced to the SLC title match for the second time in program history and the first in ten years.

Having played two games in the past three days, the Bearkats fought through fatigue as they played two halves and two ten minute overtime periods before ending the match in penalty kicks.

Sophomore Micaela Birt made the only penalty kick past SLU’s Hobe Sabadash, the tournament’s most valuable player.

I think we played some of the best soccer we have all year,” Cannon said. “Coach kept telling us it’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish and I think as a team we were able to finish our season feeling good about our recent performances.”

For the duration of the regular season, the Bearkats posted ten wins, the highest in program history.

Also, the senior players have accumulated 34 wins since 2012 as well as a program best of 8-2-1 last season.

The Bearkat soccer program is also successful off the field for they helped SHSU earn the National Soccer Coaches Association of America award and the College Team Academic Award with a GPA of 3.31.

“It’s amazing that this team accomplished the things we did,” Johnson said. “I’m proud of this team and this season just made me that much more proud to represent this school.”


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