Soccer

2013 Report Card: Soccer

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The Texas State soccer team closed out its season losing to number one seed Western Kentucky in the semifinals of the Sun Belt tournament Nov. 10, but showed solid progress throughout the season overall.

The team finished the season 9–9–2 and developed well at the end of the schedule riding a season-long three-game winning streak into the conference tournament. Freshmen forwards Lauren Prater and Maddie Nichols both made an immediate impact during the season. Nichols scored the game-winning goal against Troy in overtime, and Prater started both tournament games flashing some of her speed against Western Kentucky, nearly scoring a goal.

Soccer loses championship tournament to No. 1 seed

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The Bobcats’ soccer season ended Friday with a 1–0 loss to the number one seed in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, the Western Kentucky Lady Toppers.

Both teams were held scoreless until the 89th minute when freshman forward Iris Dunn scored the game-winner for Western Kentucky.

“We were trying not to make a mistake,” said Coach Kat Conner. “I told them at half time, ‘You have to get out of that mentality, because when you try not to make a mistake, you make a costly mistake.’”   

Going into Friday, the Lady Toppers were the best defensive team in the conference, allowing 71 goals per game and led the Sun Belt in shutouts with 10.

Women's soccer falls to number one seed Western Kentucky

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Though Texas State was looking to advance to the Sun Belt Tournament Championship game Friday, the women’s soccer team fell short to number one seed Western Kentucky 1-0.

Both teams were held without a corner kick until the final three minutes of the game. The eventual game-winning goal came from a cleared corner by Texas State and brought back in by one of the Lady Toppers.  

“On a corner everyone pretty much knows where they need to be,” said senior goalkeeper Natalie Gardini. “We put people on the post and it’s my job to do the double check. The hardest thing was it had been down there in their half for so long. You just have to be sure to mentally flip the switch and know you have to do your job now.”

Soccer advances in tournament after victory over Troy

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Freshman midfielder Maddie Nichols scored a game-winning goal in the 94th minute to give the soccer team its first Sun Belt conference tournament victory Wednesday against Troy 2-1.

The Bobcats captured their first overtime win this season against Troy. The team was previously 0-3-1 in regular season overtime games before Wednesday’s matchup.

“You’re hoping it didn’t hurt you going into extra minutes,” said Coach Kat Conner. “Luckily we finished it off quickly, so that was better for us.”

The overtime period lasted three minutes after Nichols scored off a deflected corner.

“I was just standing at the right place at the right time,” Nichols said. “It could have been anyone. I was just lucky enough to get a foot on it.”

Beyond the game: Caitlyn Rinehart

Several years ago at a Dallas Texans Women’s Soccer Club game, Coach Kat Conner saw potential in now sophomore goalkeeper Caitlyn Rinehart as she stepped up to fill in for her injured teammate.

The Dallas Texans Women’s Soccer Club was beating its opponent 2-0 when the team’s goalkeeper exited the game after suffering a season-ending thumb injury. Rinehart, the team’s starting outside midfielder, filled in for the goalkeeper. Her only prior goalkeeper experience dated back to her five-year stint with the Olympic Developmental Program.

“I saw a true natural gift, athleticism and the ability to read the game,” Conner said. “When I saw that I thought, ‘there’s a goalkeeper we can work on and train even more.’”

Season closes with two wins against Arkansas teams at home

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The Texas State soccer team snapped its three-game losing streak Friday with a 4–0 victory over Arkansas-Little Rock and defeated Arkansas State Sunday on Senior Day 3-0.

Texas State averaged 18.5 shots per game in eight conference games entering the matchup against the Trojans, the highest mark in the Sun Belt. The team averaged 12.3 shots in non-conference play during that same time span. The Bobcats finished with 22 shots against the Trojans, their third-highest shot total this season.

“It is a huge win, just to gain our confidence back,” said Coach Kat Conner. “We worked really hard during this week to get back into rhythm. It paid off. We just returned to playing Bobcat soccer.”

Soccer breaks three-game losing streak with win over Little Rock

The Texas State soccer team snapped its three-game losing streak Friday with a 4-0 victory over the University of Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans.

“It is a huge win, just to gain our confidence back,” said Coach Kat Conner. “We worked really hard during this week to get back into rhythm. It paid off. We just returned to playing Bobcat soccer.”

Texas State is averaging 18.5 shots per game in eight conference games this season, the highest mark in the Sun Belt. They were averaging 12.3 shots in non-conference play.

The Bobcats finished with 22 shots against the Trojans, their third-highest shot total this season.

Soccer to face two Arkansas clubs

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The soccer team is set to play its final games of the regular season at home this weekend against the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans and the Arkansas State Red Wolves.

The Bobcats are trying to end a three-game losing streak dating back to the Western Kentucky matchup. Two of the three games since then went into double overtime. In that span, the team has scored three goals compared to their opponents’ eight.

“We have to find our rhythm,” said Coach Kat Conner. “It showed in spurts in both games. We have to go 90 minutes. We have to be willing to go 110 (minutes) if it takes that and be mentally and fully aware of what the game demands of us.”

Beyond the game: Ashley Jackson

Senior defender Ashley Jackson wanted to play basketball as a child, but the YMCA in Plano only offered soccer.

Jackson, who started playing soccer at the age of eight, has not stopped playing since.

“It’s been a part of my life forever,” Jackson said. “I’m just used to it. Soccer has really made me want to be better at everything. It’s kept me focused, and it gave me a scholarship.”

Coach Kat Conner converted Jackson, a forward, into a defender prior to her freshman year.

“She was very tenacious and quick,” Conner said. “She played like a forward and outside midfielder, because she was getting around defenders and setting up some good shots. I trained her as a defender because she was very athletic, and she did a really good job, so I kept her there.”

Women's soccer falls to Lousianna-Lafayette, slips to sixth in conference

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The Texas State soccer team lost Friday to Louisiana-Lafayette 5-2, with freshman forward Yazmin Montoya scoring four goals on the night.
Montoya tied teammate freshman forward Annika Schmidt for most goals in a game this season in the Sun Belt.

Sophomore midfielder Landry Lowe scored her first goal of the season, shooting the ball beyond the 18-yard marker.  

The Bobcats picked up their play after halftime when they were down 3-0. Senior defender Ashley Jackson mentioned they had nothing to lose coming out of halftime.

“I know one thing was that we have nothing to lose,” Jackson said. “We were down 3-0, so we just need to give it all we had. At that point we had nothing to lose.”

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