The Sam Houston State University soccer team finished its regular season with a conference record of 5-5-1 (7-10-1 overall), capturing the No. 7 seed in the upcoming 2019 Southland Conference Tournament Nov. 6-10.
The Bearkats finished up the year with three competitive losses against the University of Incarnate Word Cardinals, the Abilene Christian University Wildcats and the Stephen F. Austin University Lumberjacks.
The Bearkats lost a close game to the Cardinals 3-2 in double overtime. Freshman forward Brooke Jones had both of the Kats’ goals including a game-tying goal in the 89th minute.
ACU shut out SHSU 1-0. Freshman goalkeeper Tatum Krueger had a busy day as the Bearkats were outshot 26-10. She had nine total saves in the game but the deciding factor came in the 55th minute when the Wildcats found the net.
The Bearkats then ended the regular season at Pritchett Field Friday with their third straight loss coming at the hands of the rival Ladyjacks 2-1 who made their shots count, despite being outshot by SHSU 19-2. Freshman midfielder Kalynn Bickford finished off her strong freshman season with another goal coming in the 78th minute. The Bearkats honored their seniors that night— including Hannah Dupin, Carlota Suarez Crespo, Lexi Bullard, Acacia Shepardson, Josee Jacobellis and even Katy Johnson who suffered a season ending injury last weekend. She stepped onto the field to kick the ball out of bounds and was subbed out, giving her one last start for the Kats.
The Bearkats are now looking forward to the Southland Conference Tournament in Conway, Arkansas against No. 2 seed Northwestern State University. In their first meeting this season the Bearkats lost a tight match with a final score of 1-0. Krueger had a strong showing in that game with five saves on six shots on goal. SHSU will miss Johnson’s presence in the match as she had one of the two shots on goal in the previous matchup with the Demons.
First place Lamar University will look to run the tournament beginning with a game against the No. 8 seeded SFA Ladyjacks.
ACU will try to take back its title after winning last year by defeating SFA 3-1 in the final. They will take on sixth ranked McNeese University in the opening round.
The Bearkats will be looking for their young core to make a strong impact in the tournament.
Krueger needs to continue her strong season going into the playoffs. She took over the primary starting roll in the net halfway through the season and has been a large part of the reason for the defense being so strong and allowing two goals or less in six of the last seven games.
Bickford will also by a key player that needs to make a huge impact for the team. Leading the Bearkats this season with five goals, she has been able to find opportunities all over the place. She began her season by making the game-winning penalty kick against the 2018 regular-season champion Central Arkansas. Three of her team-leading five scores were game winners.
The Bearkats will begin their tournament against second ranked NSU in Conway, Arkansas on Wednesday Nov. 6 at 11 a.m. The game will stream live on Southland.org/live.