The Bobcats will have their home opener Tuesday at 7 p.m., taking on the Prairie View A&M Panthers (0-2).
“It feels great to be playing at home. I can tell you that,” Coach Kat Conner said at practice on Monday. “We’ve played at some great crowds early in the year, with Sam Houston State and UTEP. Hopefully we’ll get that same support tomorrow night.”
The home atmosphere Tuesday night could help take the Bobcats out of their recent slump.
The Bobcats come into the home opener struggling to make their mark on the road after recently going 0-2 in the Miner Classic in El Paso, Texas last weekend. Texas State took on the University of Texas-El Paso, falling 3-1 before losing a close decision to Army 2-1.
Prairie View A&M comes into San Marcos with their own struggles. The Panthers come in with no wins and two losses, which came against SHSU and Louisiana-Lafayette. The Bobcats lost a nail-biter to SHSU 1-0, and lost the other game to ULL 4-0. The Bobcats defeated the SHSU Bearkats 1-0 in the season opener.
Last year against the Panthers, Sydney Curry, junior midfielder, and Serena Hines, senior forward, each scored two goals in the Bobcats’ 6-0 victory. So far this season, Hines has an assist, while Curry has one goal in three games. Hines and Curry will look to regain their stride at home against the Panthers.
“The first home game is always really exciting and we always love playing in front of the fans.” Curry said. “We’re excited to show them what we’ve been working on and we plan on winning every home game this season.”
The Bobcat offense should get a boost. Texas State has outscored the Panthers 15-0 the past three meetings. Texas State looks to capitalize on that against Prairie View’s defense, which has already given up 2.5 goals per game this year. Junior goalie Natalie Gardini hopes to continue on with her strong campaign. Gardini has eight saves for the season and a shutout in two games played.
The Bobcat defense looks to jumpstart their play as well. The Bobcats have given up an average of 1.67 goals per game, whereas the Panthers have not scored a goal so far this season. The trend may bode well for the Bobcats to protect their goal and play solid defense.
The Bobcats will try to keep their focus as they are honored before Tuesday night’s game as the 2011 Southland Conference champions.
“It’s a special moment to recognize the great accomplishment we did last year,” Coach Conner said. “However, our players know that the focus is on this year. We need to come out with the focus it took to earn that championship last year in our games this year.”