The Texas State soccer team will be looking to avenge last season’s losses to McNeese State and Rice as the Bobcats face both squads this weekend.
Texas State will travel to Lake Charles Sept. 6 to take on familiar Southland Conference foe McNeese State. The Bobcats are 17-7-1 against them all-time.
In last year’s matchup, Texas State lost to the Cowgirls 1-0, despite outshooting McNeese State 13-5. The ball club did not allow a shot on goal in the second half of the contest. The Bobcats are looking to play with style by taking their time and letting the game come to them.
“They’re a very scrappy, physical team who like to play very direct,” said Coach Kat Conner. “It will be a tough battle for us. We don’t like to play direct, we like to keep possession. It’s going to be like ying and yang going against each other.”
Junior forward Tori Hale looks to come off last season’s McNeese State game where she had three shots in the game with none finding the net. Hale believes in the team’s style of play and confidence level.
“We are just trying to stay confident and go in to play our own style and not worry about what their (game plan) is,” Hale said. “I definitely think if we can do that we can have a successful weekend.”
McNeese State is 3-1 this season and riding a three-game winning streak. In last year’s McNeese State game, senior midfielder Johna Germany scored the lone goal for the Cowgirls. Germany comes into the season with one goal, two assists and two of five on goal shots.
Looking to use this game as momentum, the Bobcats will return home Sunday for a game against the Rice Owls. Texas State played the Owls last year losing 2-1 at Rice Track/Soccer Stadium. This year the Bobcats are playing Rice at home, which could be the difference in the outcome of the game because of the comfortable environment.
“I definitely think we are more comfortable especially because of the humidity difference,” Hale said. “I think that we have an advantage here.”
Hale scored the only goal in last year’s game and had two shots on goal. The junior forward looks to build off that performance and lead her team to a win.
“If we come out confident, strong and ready to win, and try not to worry about the heat we should be OK,” Hale said. “We are also at home, so it should be even better than last year.”
The Bobcats in last season’s matchup appeared to play differently in either half of the game. The first half started slow for Texas State, getting zero shots on goal while the Owls had 11. In the second half, the Bobcats outshot Rice 10-7.
Conner is using last season’s matchups against Rice and McNeese State as a model to gain a competitive advantage on the Owls.
“They are just like McNeese,” Conner said. “That’s helpful as they both play the same style, so that will be very helpful in preparation for this weekend. To tell you the truth Rice has several players from the West Coast that I’ve heard great things about, so we will have to figure out how to defend them.”
Follow Kirk Jones on Twitter: @kirk_jones11