Soccer squad earns draw in cross-town matchup

With their California road trip behind them, the Cougars traveled across town to face Houston Baptist University on Sunday before a crowd of 500 in a non-conference match.

The game resulted in a draw, and became the Cougars’ fourth straight overtime game. The game brings the Cougars’ record to 1-2-3 after two competitive games in California.

The Cougars are the second UH team to have logged four overtime games in a season. The season was the last occurrence.

“We came out very flat and not sharp on any side of the ball,” said head coach Chris Pfau. “I thought we did a much better job in the second half of creating a better tempo to the game.”

Senior goalkeeper Sydney George stayed in the goal the entire 110 minutes and put up a personal record 11 saves and gained her first career shutout. Her previous record of seven saves was against Colorado College in 2011. She was named the American Athletic Conference goalkeeper of the week.

Houston put up a season-high 16 shots against HBU’s defense, with seven coming from junior forward Kayla Walker.

“The big thing as we try to build our program as one of the top teams in the country is that you have to be mentally ready to play each game,” Pfau said. “We have done this for the last four games and (it’s) something that we are focusing on. I thought the first half we were not (ready) and played very flat.”

Despite the impressive defensive performance, the Cougars were not able to put up a scoring shot and the game continued into overtime. The Cougars logged seven shots in overtime and held HBU to only two.

Pfau said the team’s back four has been strong in the past few games and helped the team get their third shutout.

“I think we are struggling scoring goals for two reasons,” Pfau said.

“First, we are not keeping the ball, and we are not committing enough players in the final third. We need players that want to score, and right now, we don’t.”

The Cougars play their first home game since Aug. 30 this Friday against Louisiana-Lafayette University at Carl Lewis Field. All 11 seniors will be recognized prior to the game, among them two goalkeepers who continue to provide a strong defense force.

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