Cougars brace for lengthy road stretch
The Cougars will look to extend their winning streak to two Friday when they travel north to take on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Hurricane Stadium.
UH (4-6-0, 1-1-0 Conference USA) split its first two games in the opening weekend of conference action at Robertson Stadium.
The Cougars are now getting into the heart of conference play with their next four matches on the road.
After a sluggish start, UH has battled back to win four of its last five games. The recent success can be attributed to the Cougars adopting a physical playing style of late.
Head coach Susan Bush said that keeping the game scrappy is imperative to the success of the team.
“We have to match the other team’s intensity,” Bush said. “We’re kind of a smaller team. If we don’t fight back and defend ourselves we’re going to get pushed off the ball easily.”
The Golden Hurricane (6-3-2, 0-1-1 C-USA) fought for a double overtime draw to record their fifth straight clean sheet Sept. 23 against Southern Mississippi — setting the school record for consecutive shutouts.
Their 2-1 loss to No. 13 Central Florida on Sunday ended the streak.
Quick start essential
Senior forward Jessica Zavalza said that maintaining the effort for the full game is essential if the Cougars are to come out with a victory.
“We can compete with any team,” Zavalza said.
“We just need to start right away. Our problem is that once we’re down on the scoreboard and we need our coaches to get on us so we can fire it up and realize that we are a good team.”
Zavalza leads the Cougars with six goals, and will be looking to add to that total. The task will not be easy as the Golden Hurricane have posted eight clean sheets this season.
Friday’s match kicks off at 7 p.m. at the Hurricane Soccer and Track Stadium in Tulsa, Okla.
The Cougars will return to Texas when they face SMU at 1 p.m. Sunday at Westcott Field.
The Mustangs (6-4. 2-0 C-USA) will take on Rice on Friday at home before hosting UH. SMU is on a three-game winning streak after defeating Southern Miss. 3-1 on Sept. 25.