Soccer Sports

Women’s soccer continues stellar play at home

The Cougars continued their luck at home this weekend. Against the likes of Southern Miss and Lamar, the soccer team got a win and a draw respectively. | Thomas Dwyer/The Cougar

The Cougars took on the Southern Miss Golden Eagles and defeated them 4-1 on Friday night, while getting a draw on Sunday against the Lamar Cardinals, to continue their streak at home.

The Cougars returned home this weekend after not playing at Carl Lewis Complex since Aug. 20. Coming into the games, the Cougars were looking to bounce back from a tough 4-1 loss to the Rice Owls on Sept. 4 and improve upon their 2-2-0 record.  

The Golden Eagles came into the weekend with a solid 4-1-0 record, with Lamar at 5-2-0.

Formidable opponent

The Cougars defense struggled early on against the Golden Eagles, giving up a slew of shots and fouls. Even with the setback of early defensive struggles the Cougars looked great going forward, getting in shots and winning a few corners.

The scoring was opened up in the 29th minute by senior midfielder Selena Peters who chipped the keeper for her second goal of the season. The Cougars continued to foul — 5 times in 10 minutes — until the Golden Eagles finally broke through in the 39th minute, scoring off a deflected ball.

At the start of the second half, the teams evened out with both giving up fouls and shots. The Cougars took the lead in the 57th minute thanks to an across the net shot from senior midfielder Hannah Dauzat, her third goal for the season. In the 65th minute, the Cougars added to their lead with a headed goal from freshman midfielder Mia Brascia on a free kick; this was Brascia’s first goal of the season.

Finally, the Cougars closed out the game with an unassisted goal by sophomore forward Madison Soileau. Senior defender Kelsey Thein picked up two assists during the game.

The game finished 4-1, as the Cougars improved to 3-2-0 on the season.

Play to a draw

The Cougars took on the 5-2-0 Lamar Cardinals Sunday, beginning the game strongly.

The defense, despite problems in previous games, looked tough and made important tackles and stops in the final third of the pitch, just in front of the net area. Along with the defensive success, the Cougars were able to push the ball up and create chances. The Cougars had 5 shots in the first 25 minutes.

Around two-thirds into the first half, the Cougars lost any apparent momentum, conceding free kicks and giving up possession to Lamar. Around the 40-minute mark, both teams settled in and played evenly.

Six of the Cougars in the staring eleven played the entire first half.

Lamar was able to take 15 shots during the second half, but never seemed very threatening except for a few corner kicks and a dangerous cross in the 49th minute. The Cougars struggled to register more than a few shots. Though they were able to push the ball up the field, they never seemed very threatening except for some dangerous corners.

Full time came and the score remained tied at zero. Both overtimes didn’t garner much excitement until the end of the second overtime, when the Cougars came close to scoring the winning goal off of crosses.

The score remained 0-0 at the end of the second overtime, ending the game with a draw. The Cougars improved their record to 3-2-1, remaining undefeated at home.

Defense rises up

This weekend’s results would not have come without the defensive prowess of junior goalkeeper Rachel Estopare, who recorded a career-high tying 11 saves against Rice last week.

She maintained that momentum this weekend, saving 18 shots in total — 10 against Southern Miss and eight against Lamar.

“It’s just what we do as goalkeepers,” Estopare said after the Lamar game. “The team really helped make that a lot less saves than it should’ve been.”

Now the Cougars go on a two week road trip, playing 4 games before returning home. The Cougars have struggled on the road this season with both their losses coming on the road.

“I’m not worried about the actual being on the road, I think we happened to play two very good teams in [Cal State] Northridge and Rice,” said Cougars head coach Diego Bocanegra, “We’re a young team in the fact that every thing’s new to this group, and so the first two away games were learning experiences.”

The Cougars travel to New Mexico this weekend to take on the University of New Mexico Lobos (3-3-0) Friday at 8 p.m. and the New Mexico State aggies (4-4-1) Sunday at 1 p.m. The Cougars hope to gain momentum in New Mexico as these games will be the last before conference play begins.

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