The Sam Houston State University Bearkats soccer team, who is currently 5-2-1 in conference play (7-7-1 overall), have officially clinched a spot for the Southland Conference playoffs after two big victories against Southeastern Louisiana University and Nicholls State University. This will be the Bearkats third playoff appearance since 2015.
On Friday night the Bearkats defeated the Southeastern Louisiana Lady Lions 2-0. The Lady Lions outshot the Bearkats 10-8, but SHSU was able to break through on their opportunities. Freshman goalkeeper Tatum Krueger continued to play well for the team as she had four saves on all four of the shots on goal.
The young core continued to make an impact for the team as both goals came from underclassmen. Freshman midfielder Alyssa Austin scored her first goal of the season in the 21st minute of the game on an assist from defender Rachel Downey. In the second half of the game, sophomore defender Caitlyn McDonald scored on a free kick just in front of midfield that gave the Bearkats their second and final goal of the night.
“Just getting wins is important for us,” head coach Tom Brown said. “I thought it was a battle everywhere.”
Sunday afternoon the Bearkats took on the Nicholls State University Colonels. The Bearkats took care of business in that game too, taking a 3-0 victory. The Bearkats absolutely dominated the game outshooting the Colonels 23-3 while only allowing one shot on goal. The Bearkats completed their second straight shutout due to strong defensive play by McDonald anchoring the center of the defense as well as Krueger in goal.
Freshman midfielder Kalynn Bickford continued to make a huge impact for the team in her first season as she scored two more goals in the Sunday match. The first goal came from a free kick cross from midfielder Briana Woodall, the second on a cross from forward Grace Stine. Senior forward Carlota Suarez-Crespo also got in on the action as she scored late in the first half of the game on an assist from defender Acacia Shepardson.
The Bearkats now have three games remaining in conference play before heading to Arkansas for the Playoffs.
Up next the Bearkats travel to San Antonio to take on the University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals Oct. 25 at 5 p.m. UIW currently sits at second with a 6-2 conference record after losing to first place Lamar University in overtime.
Following that Matchup will be Abilene Christin University who is currently 5-2-1.
The final game of the season will then be played in Huntsville versus the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks who are currently fighting for a playoff spot as they sit right on the border with a conference record of 3-5.