UH has goals in sight
The Cougars soccer team will start its spring season Saturday in College Station.
Head coach Susan Bush is ready to see her team return to the playing field after the end of their fall season.
“This spring looks great. We didn’t lose too many kids from our starting roster last year,” Bush said. “The first date of competition starts Saturday. We have five competition dates, and we are really looking forward to it.”
The spring season presents a less rigorous schedule. Teams have five set dates to fit in as many games as they can.
On its first date, UH will travel to College Station for a seven-on-seven tournament. The Cougars will take on Sam Houston State, Lamar and the University of Texas-San Antonio.
The games are 50 minutes instead of the usual 90, but Bush feels this will be a good chance for her players to develop.
“It’s really just to get the kids playing, get kids who don’t get to play much in the fall some playing time,” Bush said.
The Cougars’ spring schedule also includes Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.
Because the spring is more restrictive with regards to scheduling games and traveling, the team will remain in Texas until the fall season begins.
“In the fall, you have a little more freedom to play the teams you want to play, but there is so much talent in Texas that we really don’t need to travel far to get a good game,” Bush said.
One perk of the spring season is the ability to sign players. Bush is optimistic about her choices and those players’ ability to make a difference for the program.
“It’s the best class we’ve had come in since I’ve been here,” she said. “We’re bringing in some solid defenders and some really creative attacking players, which I think is what we’ve been missing the last couple years. I think the whole class is very complete, and we’ll see a lot of them in the lineup next year.”
Bush signed five players this spring — two forwards, two midfielders and a defender. Three of the players are from the Houston area, including U.S. National Team member Nicole Duarte.
The other two hail from Albuquerque, N.M., and Whittier, Calif.
Simply signing a letter of intent does not guarantee playing time for the players who will arrive on campus in August for the preseason. Bush has seen only their performances at the high school level and for their clubs. She knows she will need to see them play with the returning players before making any decisions.
“When they get here in the preseason, we will be able to judge where they are going to fit in on the team,” Bush said. “We have some open spots in the starting lineup, but in August it’s a whole different story.”