UH drops Bearkats at Roberston; Cajuns on the road
With two games under their belt, the Cougars have managed to make head coach Susan Bush the first coach in UH soccer history to win in her first two matches.
Houston soccer (2-0-0) opened up its season with a 1-0 win against the Sam Houston State Bearkats on Friday night at Robertson Stadium.
The Bearkats (0-3-0) had come into the game being outscored 9-3 in their previous two games, but started five defenders and used eight substitutes to keep their lines fresh.
Bearkat sophomore forward Alison Oakland had three of their eight shots, which included one goal in the loss.
Freshman goalkeeper Jenny Pence played phenomenally, saving eight shots, but was overwhelmed by the 17 chances the Cougars generated through the porous Bearkat defense.
The Cougars got the winning goal on an amazing run by freshman midfielder Islara Rodriguez, who knifed through three defenders and buried the ball into the top left corner of the goal.
Rodriguez also led the team with seven shots, including five of them on goal.
Junior goalkeeper Shelby Scott was not tested often; she only had two shots near her, which were both saved and came up with a season-opening clean sheet.
Sunday’s road game at University of Louisiana at Lafayette gave the Cougars their first huge road win in a 2-1 defeat of the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Scott carried the Cougars to the win by saving nine shots, including a crucial stop on a penalty in the 64th minute off the foot of tormenting Cajuns’ senior forward Stephanie Lynch, which would have tied the game.
The game was scoreless in the first half, and then all three goals came in quick succession.
Arizona State University transfer and junior forward Christine Nieva hit a shot in off a corner kick to give Houston the lead in the 56th minute.
Cajuns’ Lynch immediately answered in the 57th when she took a pass from junior forward Callie Oliver right in front of the goal and beat Scott.
Cougar freshman forward Lauri Byrne then lofted one over Cajuns keeper Kristen Malen’s head in the 59th minute for the difference.
Freshman midfielder Jessica Rathweg and Rodriguez picked up assists on the Cougar goals.
It wasn’t the quantity, but the quality for the Cougars, who only fired six shots but got four of them on goal and two of them into the net.
The Cajuns got off 29 shots, but Scott met the challenge and picked up her defense with outstanding keeping.
Freshman defender Brittany Cannon is set to serve a one-match suspension as a result of a red card received in Sunday’s game.
Off to a 2-0 start for the second straight season, the Cougars will next host Grambling State and LSU at Robertson this weekend.