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Saturday, September 30, 2023


Squad hopes to remain on top

The Cougars will have a tune-up against UAB tonight in Birmingham, Ala., before taking on perennial Conference USA power Memphis on Sunday afternoon.

The last time the Cougars went on the road they came away without any wins for the weekend. Now sitting atop the conference, they are looking for different results this time around.

“We have to focus on working together as a team,” goalkeeper Cami Koski said. “It’s always harder to play on the road. We had great practices this week, all three days. I feel like we’re playing pretty solid as a team.”

The Blazers have allowed the second most goals in C-USA and have endured a rocky season with a 2-4-2-conference record.

The Tigers might prove to be a tougher foe and will be a good benchmark for where the Cougars are before the season finale at Rice.

The Tigers have won C-USA the last three seasons, and currently trail the Cougars in the standings by two points. They bring a balanced offensive attack and have several players who can put the ball in the back of the net with four players scoring four or more goals for the season.

“Memphis has always been tough,” Koski said. “They’re traditionally a good team in the conference, but we’re looking to be focused on the road and just win.”

Maintaining that focus is something that freshman Nicole Duarte says starts with everything the team does, including everyday things like eating right and getting enough sleep before matches.

The Cougars are focused on staying on top and winning the program’s first C-USA title.

“No matter what, even if we lose, we’d still be going to the conference tournament, but we want to stay number one,” Duarte said. “We’ve never been here.

“I think we have to obviously be more focused, but I think we’re there. We’re going to conference and it reassures us that we can do this. We’re number one, so let’s keep ourselves at number one.”

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