Cougars prepare for conference tournament

Coaches and players know the team had a rough run throughout the season but hopes to come out in the game with an offense that has showed up in past games.

The regular season has come to a close and the Cougars await participating in the American Athletic Conference Championship on Friday. The game places UH, the No. 10 seed team, against No. 7 seed Memphis at Louisville.

The winner of the game will go on to face a tough No. 2 seed Louisville Sunday, and the loser will be eliminated from the postseason.

Head coach Chris Pfau said the team is looking at the game as a new opportunity — a chance to show that the Cougars can win while having fun.

“We are looking at it as a new season and going in to the tournament looking to just win the first game,” Pfau said. “There is no pressure on us, and hopefully, we can go into the game relaxed and have fun. When we have done that, we have played very well.”

UH’s last game, against USF, included three goals from three seniors: Jasmine Martinez, Natalie Juncos and Alexis Weaver. Although the Cougars lost the game, the offense was impressive from both teams, with a final score of 6-3.

Senior keeper Cami Koski said she hopes the team will rise to the occasion.

“I see the team coming out fired up with nothing to lose,” Koski said. “We really got into a groove this past weekend and were able to score goals. I think, with a few defensive tweaks, we should be able to buckle down and come out with a win.”

Defense should be part of the team’s outlook coming out of a game Sunday in which USF was able to net six goals, though UH’s hopes of continuing into the postseason will heavily rely on offense, especially against a Memphis team that has outscored their last two opponents 8-1.

“We are looking at this tournament not of winning four games, but just trying to win one game,” Pfau said. “So we are going to put everything into this one game and see what happens.”

Friday’s matches include UH vs. Memphis and also the No. 9 and 10 seeds, Temple and SMU, facing off.

“We are preparing for Friday’s game just like any other game this season,” Koski said. “We have had a rough run this year, and unfortunately, the results on paper do not indicate how our team has grown throughout the season.”

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