Soccer team ups win streak to 4 with win over Tulsa
Continuing the best start in the program’s history, the Cougars extended their winning steak to four games by
beating Tulsa in a double overtime thriller, brought to a close by a Kaitlin Thulin goal.
The victory keeps the Cougars tied for first place in Conference-USA with six points and a 7-2-1 record.
“We’re just trying to get conference wins and get points in the standings,” Thulin said.
Despite having trouble connecting on passes in the first half and looking slow at times, the Cougars were held in the game by the play of goalkeeper Cami Koski.
“With the heat and a hard game on Friday, I thought that we looked a little bit slow, but overall I think we played well,” head coach Susan Bush said.
“I think Cami Koski is getting better every game. She’s coming off of a redshirt year, so with more game experience she’s getting more confidence. Everyone feels good about her performance.”
Koski recorded her fourth shutout of the season and played aggressively in goal, throwing her body into shots and defenders. Koski was also helped by a defense led by Danielle Munoz that only allowed the Hurricane to a total of five shots. Munoz made several key tackles that killed Hurricane possessions.
“Danielle Munoz is a key player in our backline, just her speed and the timing of her tackles is something that we missed last year,” Bush said. “Having her back there has really been a difference this year.”
The Cougars opened conference play with a 1-0 victory over SMU on Friday and continued to be a much better second half team. In their last three victories, the Cougars have been held scoreless in the first half, but have outscored opponents 5-0 in the second half. The Cougars depth and ability to outlast teams has been key this season.
“I think that our team is really fit, and we have a lot of depth this year,” Bush said. “Not only can our starters go longer, but also we can make subs and the level doesn’t go down. I attribute that to the kids who came in this summer, they’re very fit this year. They’re dedicated to their fitness.
“It was one of the team’s goals and then we’re playing 18, 19, 20 kids a game, and I think that’s helping our team.”
The match against the Hurricane was a physical one, but Bush expects this to be the norm now that C-USA play has begun.
“In conference play, every team is going to play physical, so we’re expecting to get hit. We’re expecting it to be a battle and as long as we can keep the ball moving quickly then we’re accomplishing our goal.“
Friday, the Cougars won their C-USA opener 1-0 against SMU. Nicole Duarte scored the goal in the 46th minute and the Cougars held on for the win.
Next the Cougars will take on Colorado College on Friday at 7 p.m. at Robertson Stadium and will battle the UTEP Miners on Sunday at 1 p.m.