UH drops home opener to Georgia

Senior goalkeeper Cami Koski is one of the Cougars' 11 seniors.  |  Courtesy of UH Athletics

Senior goalkeeper Cami Koski is one of the Cougars’ 11 seniors. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

The Cougars were no match for the offensive prowess of Georgia on Sunday.

They lost 2-0 to the Bulldogs in their home opener before a crowd of 800 at Carl Lewis Field. The Cougars allowed both goals in the first half and were not able to get their offense going until minutes into the second half.

The Bulldogs’ first goal happened at the 23- minute marks, when senior defender Nikki Hill rolled it in on a free kick. Their second came at 44:09 by freshman forward Rachel Garcia.

The Bulldogs significantly outshot the Cougars in both halves. Their offense put up 10 shot attempts in the first half and 17 in the second. The Cougars were only able to put up one corner kick in the second half, which came from freshman midfielder Tiffani Echeverria.

Head coach Chris Pfau said there were two factors contributing to the Cougars’ loss.

“The first is that we did not come out of the preseason well,” Pfau said. “We are tired and our legs are tired. The second is that our team believed Georgia was better instead of going out and playing with confidence. I think we stepped onto the field waiting for things to happen instead of making things happen.”

The Bulldogs continuously pestered the Cougars for the majority of the game, showing them the toughness they expected from teams in the American Athletic Conference.

Senior goalkeeper Cami Koski excelled during her 45 minutes in the second half. She had six saves and kept the Bulldogs scoreless.

Despite Koski’s performance in the second period, the Cougars were out-played by Georgia, a team the Cougars have only faced once in the history of the program.

The team has welcomed new players, coaches, a venue and a conference since the end of last season.

“I think the big thing people forget is that it takes a couple years to build a successful program,” Pfau said.  “As we build a great program and fans enjoy the game more, they will follow our progress.”

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