Cougars hope to end losing streak
The UH soccer team (4-3) will attempt to erase consecutive losses when they open play in Conference USA against Marshall at 7 p.m. tonight at John O’Quinn field at Robertson Stadium.
The Cougars dropped a 1-0 decision to Baylor on Sunday and suffered a 2-1 defeat to Houston Baptist University on Tuesday. Marshall is coming off a draw against Radford and owns a 2-2-4 record, but UH head coach Susan Bush doesn’t ride off the Herd as a cupcake opponent.
"There’s not an easy game in conference," Bush said. "Every game is going to be a battle."
UH senior goalkeeper Shelby Scott looks at the beginning of conference play as a clean slate.
"I’m excited about (conference play)," Scott said. "I think we’ve accomplished a lot with the non-conference schedule, having proven to ourselves that we can compete with programs that in the past have been superior to us."
Marshall, which only lost two seniors from last year, comes to Robertson boasting a core of experienced forwards. Senior Ali Lizotte and sophomore Erika Duncan, who was the top goal scorer in the Scottish Premier League as a member of the 2006-2007 U19 Newburgh Ladies FC team, will anchor the attack against UH.
Defensively, the Herd returns all of its starters. Senior Erin Johnson, who is a three-time captain, junior Meghan Wetzel and sophomores Kristen Berquist and Emma Harrison will try to form a wall in front of junior goalkeeper Liz Orton, who became Marshall’s all-time leader in career saves last year with 190.
The Cougars play their second conference game in three days when they face East Carolina at Robertson on Sunday.
The Pirates (5-3) began their season with consecutive wins and look to outshoot the Cougars in their contest with Houston.
Freshman forward Amanda Malkiewisz has proven valuable to the Pirates in her first season, leading the team with 9 points in eight games.
Bush said she is confident in the ability of her players to win and to make a run in the postseason if they can capitalize on the shots they have throughout the games.
"I feel good about where we are going," Bush said. "We have the players to make the conference tournament. We just have to finish our chances and execute."
The Cougars have never been outshot in a game, but have come up on the wrong end of close one-point matches.
However, Scott believes continuing to work hard in practice will lead to success in conference play.
"Our goal is to outwork every team. When our team puts in the effort, I think we will be able to compete with just about any team in our conference," Scott said.