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Thursday, September 21, 2023


Soccer hits road for conference matches

After a tough 1-1 East Coast road trip, the Cougars (3-6-0, 1-1-0) are preparing for another pair of road games when they travel to Tulsa, Okla. for a 7 p.m. match today against the Golden Hurricane (3-5-2, 0-2-0). They conclude the swing when they travel to Dallas to take on SMU (3-6-0, 0-2-0) at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Head coach Susan Bush said she believes last weekend’s matches against Marshall and East Carolina tested the players and she was pleased with the final results.

‘It was a long time to travel and to wait but our goal was to win at least one of the two and we did that,’ said Bush.

Marshall (9-1-0, 2-0-0) had the better record and was playing at home in the Cougars’ first Conference USA match.’ The Thundering Herd demonstrated their winning touch early in the match scoring in the seventh and 21st minutes. Marshall would ride that early momentum to a 2-1 victory over the Cougars.’

There was no time to stop and ponder the loss, but the Cougars bounced back by knocking off East Carolina on Sunday for the first time in program history, 2-1.

Bush said the biggest problem wasn’t fatigue, but the players’ inability to produce goals. ‘

‘I think we’re just as athletic as most of the teams we’re playing,’ Bush said. ‘Our issue all year has been putting the ball in the back of the net, and in Sunday’s game we did that.’ We had two chances on goal and we scored them both.’

Tulsa and SMU lost both their matches last weekend while UH stayed in playoff contention, and is tied for fifth place.’

Still both opponents pose unique challenges, beginning with Tulsa. UH leads the all-time series 2-0-2 and all four tilts have gone to extra time. SMU brings a potent offense into Sunday’s match, boasting 30 goals on the young season compared to the Cougars’ seven. ‘

Although Bush was pleased with the team’s start in C-USA play, she recognizes that this weekend’s matches will be as difficult as any.

‘Every game in our conference will be tough.’ There are no guaranteed wins,’ Bush said. ‘Each team will get its chances, it just comes down to who can finish them.’

The Cougars and Golden Hurricane kick off tonight at 7 p.m., and Sunday’s match against the Mustangs is slated for a 2:30 p.m. start. Sunday’s match will also be broadcast on CBS College Sports Network, the only Cougars match of the regular season to be televised.’

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