Cougars earn tie, loss during California road trip

The Cougars are 1-2-2 after a draw and loss this weekend on the west coast  |  Courtesy of UH Athletics

The Cougars are 1-2-2 after a draw and loss this weekend on the West Coast. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

The Cougars battled competitive teams during their weekend road trip to California and came out with a slightly improved record of 1-2-2.

The Cougars lost 2-1 to Cal State Northridge on Friday after giving up a goal in the final minute of play and another in overtime. Junior forward Kayla Walker’s goal in the second half was not enough to secure a win.

UH brushed itself off and got ready to face San Diego State, which entered the game receiving votes among the nation’s top 25. San Diego State is coming off a strong 2012 season, which ended against then-No. 6 UCLA in the NCAA tournament.

“After losing in such a heartbreaker Friday night, it is really hard to put that in the past and get your game face on for Sunday,” said senior goalkeeper Cami Koski. “It’s easy to hang your head and feel frustrated with the result, but I thought the girls somehow found themselves in the right frame of mind and produced on Sunday.”

The game resulted in a 0-0 draw after the both teams struggled to score even in double overtime.  The Cougars were backed by another impressive performance from  Koski in the Cougars’ third straight overtime game.

Koski put up a program-record of 17 saves in the match. The previous record was 15, held by Shelby Scott against Texas in 2007.

“Even though it wasn’t a win, a scoreless tie was a big time result for us against such a solid team, especially on the road,” Koski said.

Koski has been a strong defensive force for the Cougars so far.  She has been recognized nationally by in the website’s top 20 players. She was also named goalkeeper of the week by the American Athletic Conference on Sept. 2.

Her defense Sunday was backed by a team that also played well defensively and helped shut out San Diego State.

The Cougars are still struggling offensively. Their shot attempt numbers have been low in the past three games, and it’s something the team has been working on, said head coach Chris Pfau. However, Pfau was impressed with the team’s overall performance.

“We had every excuse to not show up today after giving up a goal with no time left and losing in overtime on Friday, while turning around and playing a team that did not play on Friday and who is nationally ranked,” Pfau said in a statement. “To not only get a result like we did, but to put out that kind of effort, shows a lot of character.”

The Cougars head across town to face Houston Baptist on Sunday.  Their next home game is against Louisiana-Lafayette at 5 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Carl Lewis Field.

The Cougars hope to continue challenging their opponents defensively.  With Koski on the goal, their offense should have more opportunities to score and win games.

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