The Sam Houston Bearkat soccer team has gotten off to a slow start, but none of that matters now as Southland Conference play begins.
Tough scheduling, and a grueling travel schedule have been a problem for the Kats, but now they have to put everything in the past as conference play begins Friday against the University of Central Arkansas Bears.
“This team understands that it’s been a process to get ready for conference,” head coach Tom Brown said. “I think this team is excited to get going.”
The tough non-conference schedule was put in place in order for the young team to grow and to further prepare them for Southland Conference play.
The ultimate goal for the Kats is a conference championship, and with the Southland Conference being a one-bid league for the NCAA tournament, a conference title is all that matters for the Kats going forward.
“In order to win the conference title we must continue to move forward and get better everyday,” Brown said. “We did not get the results we would like in non-conference, but the sooner we can get on a positive role, going over there and getting a win and playing quite well will go a long way in adding confidence to the team.”
Due to the rigorous travel schedule the Kats have faced they will not get as much time to tactically prepare for UCA.
“It will be a short week to prepare for Central Arkansas,” Brown said. “As for tactically preparing for them, we will not get as much time as we normally would, but since they are a conference opponent they are more of a known team to us. So once we are able to watch video on them we will be able to properly prepare.”
UCA may be a little more motivated for this game than normal, considering the Kats knocked the Bears out of the conference tournament last season.
“We beat them last year at their place in the conference tournament,” Brown said. “I am sure they want revenge.”
The Kats must match the intensity that the Bears will bring, but that is not the only thing the Kats must do to win.
“I think the biggest thing will be continuing to get shots and finish,” Brown said. “Keeping up our attack and realize that eventually the balls are going to hit the back of the net for us.”
The Kats will play the UCA Bears on Friday at 7 p.m. in Conway, Arkansas.