Entering Friday’s match on a five-game losing streak, the Cougars knew that it was time to make a statement.
Even though they had scored only two goals in their previous five outings, the Cougars exploded offensively in a 9-0 rout of Texas Southern University (0-4-0).
Facing a TSU team that had struggled in the early stages of the season more than they had themselves, the Cougars (1-5-0) jumped on them early.
Freshman midfielder Sharis Lachappelle received a through pass from junior forward Katelyn Rhodes in the second minute and beat TSU goalkeeper Marissa Washington on the far post for her first goal of the year.
The onslaught did not stop there, as the Cougars added goals from sophomore midfielder Jasmine Martinez and freshman forward Alexis Weaver in the sixth and ninth minute.
Senior forward Jessica Zavalza scored her team-leading third goal of the season in the 18th minute and junior midfielder Morgan Vela rounded out the scoring in the 30th minute to give the Cougars a 5-0 lead at halftime.
Head coach Susan Bush had the luxury of playing her starters for only 15 minutes each half and was pleased with the team effort.
“It’s like we had a keychain full of keys and finally found the right one,” Bush said. “It’s a monkey off our back just to get a win.”
Holding a strong cushion on the scoreboard, the Cougars failed to let up on the slaughter as Zavalza scored her second goal of the match in the 59th minute.
Sophomore midfielder Kylie Cook was tripped in the box in the 73rd minute and scored on the ensuing penalty kick.
Sophomore forward Kelsey Zamora added her first two goals of the season late in the match as well.
“It’s a confidence booster,” Zamora said. “Coming back from 0-5 and finally getting a win gives us hope.”
Zavalza stressed that every victory is just a victory whether 1-0 or 9-0. The real test of strength lies in the effort the team gives night in and night out.
“It doesn’t matter who we play as long as we come out, stay consistent and play 100 percent every single game,” Zavalza said.
Bush said that she was happy with the manner in which her team closed the game in the second half and thinks that the team will respond well after capitalizing on the majority of their scoring chances.
“Obviously it helps our offensive mentality and builds our confidence,” she said. “We’re looking forward to a competitive game on Wednesday.”
The win makes UH 5-0 all-time against the Tigers, with the Cougars holding the scoring advantage 52-1.
The Cougars travel across town to take on HBU at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Sorrels Field.