Friday night will mark an emotional last home game for the Bobcats’ seniors as the women take on New Mexico State.
“Every time they have mentioned senior night the past couple of weeks, I’ve kind of teared up,” said senior defender Emma Staley. “I feel like during the game I’m going to be happy and excited, and then after the game I’m probably going to break down a little bit. I love playing on this field. This is the best field I’ve ever played on and with this team too. It’s going to be an emotional night, but it’s not over—the season is not over—so it’ll be bittersweet.”
This senior class has left its mark on the Texas State women’s soccer program, compiling a record of 45-29-4 and winning nearly 60 percent of their games. They won the 2009 Southland regular-season championship and most recently an NCAA tournament bid, after taking the 2011 Southland Conference title home.
The seniors will be well represented with six of them on the roster. Senior midfielder Andrea Mauk, a transfer student from Baylor, has only played two years at Texas State but enjoyed playing in San Marcos and for Coach Kat Conner.
“It wasn’t a four-year deal for me playing here, but being part of this team was amazing,” Mauk said. “Being part of a winning program, with pride and tradition was really cool. Coach Conner has made me a better player and teammate, and I have definitely seen improvement with every single player I’ve seen come through here in the last two years. She is a great coach.”
Conner will be looking for the leadership of the seniors to bring a win home Friday night.
“You want them to go out and have an awesome year, and then you don’t want them to go out,” Conner said. “Honestly, you want to keep them forever because by the time they are really seniors is about the time they really connect and understand what their job is as individual leaders and their job as a team. They start to be leaders to other people, and I wish I could have them (a) fifth year. They can give so much more.”
The club will enter senior night with a 5-10-1 record, and put to the test their 2-3 conference record to better position themselves for the WAC tournament.
The Bobcats will head to Denver after a brief one-game home stint and face the Pioneers (10-1-4, 2-0-2). The University of Denver currently sits in third place in the WAC standings, and Conner knows how difficult it will be to take the road trip and beat them.
“It’s going to be tough going to Denver with it being an early game and all, one o’clock their time, two o’clock our time,” Conner said. “There will be some time adjustments we’re going to have to make. They are a very high-powered offense. They’re just phenomenal. We’re going to have to know where people are and push them where we want them to be.”
The team sits fifth in the WAC. After these two upcoming match-ups, Texas State will only have one more game in conference, and that will come against seventh-place UTSA. Conner knows that only six teams make the conference tournament and realizes how important it is to get these late-season victories.
“Our backs are against the wall, and we got to do what we got to do to get these (wins) to better position ourselves to get to Utah State,” Conner said.
Utah State will host the WAC soccer tournament from Nov. 1-4 in Logan, Utah.