The Texas State Bobcats (4-8-1) concluded their five-game home stand, completing their first WAC weekend with a win against the University of Idaho and a loss to Seattle University.
The Idaho Vandals started the game Friday attacking and continued the whole first half. Chelsea Small, the WAC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, set the tempo for Idaho, scoring the first goal of the game in the 28th minute just outside the box. Outshot 15-3, the Bobcats had no answer in the first half.
The second half told an entirely different story. The Bobcats responded early, forcing the issue, which resulted in opportunities that paid off late in the game.
In the 81st minute, sophomore midfielder Tori Hale got behind a Vandal defender and only had the keeper to beat. She fired a shot from 20 yards and connected with the back of the net to tie the match 1-1.
Three minutes later freshman forward Lynsey Curry intercepted a kick from the Idaho goalie and put the game-winning shot in the back of the net. This sealed a 2-1 triumph for the team’s first WAC win in Bobcat soccer history.
“Our attack is really good, but our defense is awesome,” said junior midfielder Sydney Curry. “Our defense lets us win the ball and allows us to get into our attack, and so when we keep our pace up and get more shots up, we do pretty well.”
The Bobcats entered Sunday’s matchup against Seattle (6-5-1) with an early conference record of 1-0-0.
After the big win Friday, the Bobcats were unable to match the Redhawks’ pace Sunday afternoon. Texas State was outshot 11-9. Of its nine shots, just three of them were on target. The Bobcats were unable to score a goal for the fifth time this season.
“We didn’t do a whole lot wrong as far as technically, but it was just the pace we brought today,” Hale said. “I don’t think it was quite what it was on Friday. We were a little bit less aggressive and direct. We need to adjust to what the other team’s defense is doing.”
Texas State had opportunities to score in the second half, trailing 1-0. One of those chances came early in the second period when senior midfielder Taylor Person attempted a goal just outside the 18-yard box, but the keeper made a save to maintain Seattle’s 1-0 advantage.
The Bobcats were able to keep a 7-7 shot stalemate in the second half with the Redhawks but could not capitalize. Seattle’s Monique Escalera challenged the Bobcats in the 72nd minute by scoring a game-sealer to put her team ahead 2-0. Seattle never looked back and gave Texas State its first loss in WAC play.
“We are in a new conference and they (Texas State) are trying to figure out how these other teams play,” Coach Kat Conner said. “And sometimes we give too much respect to other teams because ultimately they (Texas State) are just as good, and they (Texas State) just need to come out with confidence and learn how to play with pace.”
The Bobcats start WAC play with a 1-1-0 record and will endure a west coast road trip this upcoming weekend. They head to California to play San Jose State University Friday, and then Sunday the team will conclude the trip by battling Utah State.
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