The Bobcat soccer team will head down to San Antonio Sunday morning to take on their Interstate 35 rivals, the University of Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners, in a battle for playoff positioning.
Texas State (6-11-1, 3-4-0) is currently placed fourth in the conference standings and is playing to cement its spot in the WAC tournament. Following a 0-1 loss at the University of Denver, Coach Kat Conner and the team know what is at stake Sunday and look to stay motivated and focused.
“To be honest, after the Denver game, it was a heartbreaking loss,” Conner said. “The girls wanted it and immediately wanted to know where they stood in the standings. They knew it was going to come down to this game this weekend at UTSA.”
Texas State can sneak into the tournament with a tie against UTSA. However, the team could potentially fall to sixth place in that scenario and would knock the Roadrunners out of the tournament. Idaho would need to win just one of its two contests this week. One of its opponents is the 0-5-1 Aggies of New Mexico State University.
“They know we have to win. They didn’t even talk about them needing a tie. They talked about getting the win,” Conner said. “As a coach, it already sounds like they are motivated and we just need to build their confidence up this week so they can get that win. The girls know they are going into an adverse environment, but they are focused at the task at hand, and as a coach you appreciate that about your players.”
UTSA (3-11-2, 2-3-2) will be led by junior forward Maria Jose Rojas and freshman midfielder Simone Boye. Rojas currently leads the team in goals (4), assists (3) and points (11), and Boye is second on the team in all three of those categories.
The Roadrunners have struggled this year at UTSA’s sports complex, posting a 1-5-2 record. The club has been outscored at home 22-9 and shut out twice, but Bobcat junior midfielder Kelsie Townsend knows her play, as well as the team’s plays, needs to be on point if they want the win this game.
“It’s been a good rivalry,” Townsend said. “I look forward to the competition and hopefully we come out with a win. If we come out with our best individual play working as a team, we will come out with a win against UTSA.”
The Bobcats will be taking a 2-5-1 road record into San Antonio. The club has been outscored on the road 17-7 this season and has won once on the road in WAC play. Senior defender Alissa Scott, reigning WAC Defensive Player of the Week, hopes the team will show up Sunday against the Roadrunners.
“We’ve seen UTSA before. We know how they play,” Scott said. “We just have to bring our all and give it everything we have. I think they will match our intensity and just play all out.”
At the beginning of the year, the storylines were about how Texas State would adjust going to the West Coast and playing in the WAC.Now its fate lies in a game where it will take on a longtime rival in UTSA, who is just 45 minutes down the road. For the Bobcats, they know the message is simple.
“Win, tie or go home,” Conner said.