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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Soccer

Soccer’s season ended by Mustangs


Houston’s tournament hopes were squashed by SMU in the final game of the regular season. | Shardanna Jones/The Cougar

Houston’s season was ended by SMU with a 3–0 score in its season finale, and the team was knocked out of the American Athletic Conference Tournament for the fourth season in a row.

SMU improved to 16–0–2 against UH and eliminated the Cougars from playoff contention for the second year in a row.

Defensively, Houston found success in minute 14 with its first save by senior goalkeeper Rachel Estopare.

SMU continued its attack well into minute 18, but a stop by junior defender Nolin Packer briefly turned momentum to UH’s favor.

Despite the shift, the Mustangs got right back to their offense-heavy game plan with a shot that hit the pole just a minute later.

Houston again found itself on the attack until Southern Methodist defenders overpowered the Cougars’ offense. Southern Methodist freshman midfielder Celiana Torres snuck one past Estopare in minute 30 to put her team up 1–0.

Sophomore forward Hannah Allred of the Mustangs gave her team a cushion when she scored in minute 43 to end the first half.

Houston had its best chance to score in the game during minute 49 but was blocked by Southern Methodist freshman goalkeeper Samantha Estrada.

Six minutes later, SMU capitalized on a mistake after a ball deflected by Estopare took a weird bounce and was headed in by senior forward Blair Thorpe.

The Cougars had a chance two minutes later with a free kick that was cleared out by defenders.

Sophomores Mia Brascia and Jazmin Grant both had several openings in the final 20 minutes of the match, but Houston’s fate was sealed. Estopare finished the game with seven saves.

Head coach Diego Bocanegra and his team will have to settle for another season without a tournament berth and another disappointment at the hands of the Mustangs.

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