The Bobcat soccer team (2-5-1) is hoping a change in scenery will help them end their three-game losing skid as they take on rival Stephen F. Austin (5-2) Friday night.
Texas State is coming off a weekend in which it did not score a goal and gave up five. The Bobcats are looking to end the scoring drought as they take on an SFA team trying to avenge a devastating loss from the 2011 Southland Conference Championship game. That game allowed the Bobcats to play in the NCAA tournament, and left the Ladyjacks at home without a bid.
“They’ve been talking about it. (The players) know that SFA is going to try and come in here and beat us,” Coach Kat Conner said before practice Wednesday. “There is no doubt that we upset them last year in beating them in the conference tournament. The players know that, and they know they’ll come here with a chip on their shoulder and avenge the loss.”
The Ladyjacks are coming off wins against Houston Baptist University on the road and Rice. SFA is outscoring opponents 15-0 and has only given up one goal the entire year in its five wins this season. The Bobcats know they have their work cut out for them to win this matchup.
“We have to get our mentality straight in the first half, as well as the second half, to put two and two together so we can get the win against SFA,” senior forward Serena Hines said. “Right now we are focused on SFA and are looking to take it one game at a time.”
The Bobcats have battled first-half woes all season and look to turn that around Friday. This season Texas State is outscoring its opponents 7-5 in the second half of games, but has been outscored 8-1 in the first half. The players are hoping the home atmosphere will give new direction in the way they start.
“It’s definitely the best place to win at home,” sophomore forward Jourdan Brown said. “We started off well playing against TCU, so we need to do that again. We came out bad at home against Central Michigan, and I honestly think everyone was just embarrassed. We had people telling coach that we looked bad in the first half, and we don’t want to do that again.”
Texas State will stay home on Sunday afternoon as it goes for four straight wins against McNeese State (4-3-1). In their past three meetings, the Bobcats have outscored the Cowgirls 6-2 and shut them out once.
McNeese State will come into the Bobcat Soccer Complex riding high on a three-game winning streak. In that winning streak it has a shutout and is outscoring the opposition 5-2.
“(McNeese State) is tough, very tough,” Conner said. “They’re always well-organized defensively, they have a good keeper and like to play more numbers behind the ball. It’s always harder to break them down. We need to have a sense of urgency almost, understanding that it’s going to be crucial for us to score a goal before they do or it just becomes harder to score a goal on that defense.”
Texas State has one more non-conference game after this weekend before it enters its first-ever WAC conference game at home against the University of Idaho Vandals on Sept. 28.