Soccer looking to make run in Beaumont

Photo courtesy of Leila De La Cruz

The Sam Houston Bearkats soccer team is back in the Southland Conference tournament after a lengthy delay from COVID-19 moving their traditionally fall season into the spring.

The Bearkats find themselves ranked seventh in the Southland Conference after finishing the season 5-5-1. This comes with the help of the team finishing their season, winning four of their last five.

Last season the Bearkats finished seventh going into the tournament and lost in the first round to the Northwestern State University Lady Demons in a 3-0 defeat.

With their record, they will have a tough schedule to make it to the finals, their first opponent will be the No. 2 seeded Lamar University Cardinals. In their only head-to-head matchup of the season, the Bearkats came away with the huge late-season upset to beat Lamar 2-0 on April 3 in Huntsville, Texas.

A number of players have stepped up recently and will be big factors going into the conference tournament.

Sophomore forward Brooke Jones has been the team’s leading offensive player with four goals and one assist. She also scored a goal in three straight games this season and finished the season being named to the All-Southland Conference Soccer Second Team. She was the lone player from Sam Houston to be awarded that honor.

The goalkeepers will also be an interesting piece to look for as the Bearkats have used the tandem of sophomore Tatum Krueger and junior Abby DeLozier. While it looked like DeLozier would be getting the start and was even awarded goalie of the week in the SLC on March 9, Krueger has started the last two games for the Bearkats, only allowing one goal in the two matches.

Lastly, freshman defender Katarina Baehren looks to anchor that Bearkats defense. Baehren is coming off winning SLC defender of the week and has even had a goal as a defender. Baehren has continued to be the consistent center back the Bearkats defense has needed all season as she has started in every game this season.

The Southland Conference tournament will start on Tuesday, April 13 and the first round of games will be played all day. The Bearkats have beaten Lamar this year already and hope to upset them again. The Bearkats take the field at 8 p.m. against the Cardinals in Beaumont, Texas.

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