Soccer Sports

Houston drops both games on California road trip

Senior goalkeeper Rachel Estopare made a season-high six saves in Houston’s 2-1 loss against California Baptist. | Thomas Dwyer/The Cougar

Houston suffered a pair of heartbreaking losses to the hands of California Baptist and UC Riverside during their weekend road trip to the Golden State.

This began for the Cougars when sophomore midfielder Mia Brascia hit the first shot of the game that went wide in minute 10.

Senior goalkeeper Rachel Estopare followed up with two saves in the ensuing 10 minutes, but CBU junior forward Jordan Dow slipped one past her to give the Lancers an advantage on the Cougars in minute 24.

Despite giving up the first goal, Houston’s defense played well throughout the game. UH defenders cleared out several CBU attacks and corner kicks.

Houston’s biggest chance at equalizing came with just 15 minutes left in the game when back-to-back corners fell short of finding the back of the net.

The game was all but over until sophomore forward Jazmin Grant capitalized off a Brascia free kick to make things level with just 50 seconds left on the clock.

In the first three minutes of overtime, Brascia had a chance but was blocked by CBU, and Estopare picked up two more saves for a total of six, a season-high for the senior.

Although the Cougars had the momentum going into extra time, the Lancers came out on top after junior forward Miranda Hald’s goal in minute 96 ended the game 2–1.

Houston’s game against Riverside did not go well, either. The Cougars held up defensively in the first half, but their offense was nonexistent. The team recorded no shots in the first 45 minutes. It was not until the second half that both sides finally saw some action.

Brascia opened up Houston’s offensive stats with its first shot of the game in the second half.

The Highlanders followed with the same assertive attack that was seen in the first half, but the game remained scoreless halfway through the second.

Junior forward Desiree Bowen found her first chance of the night in minute 79, but her shot was blocked by UCR.

The misfortune would continue for Houston after UCR senior midfielder Madeline Feist’s 25-yard rocket put the Highlanders up with only five minutes left to play, giving the Cougars their second straight loss.

UCR shut down UH on both sides of the ball. The Highlanders recorded 13 shots on the game while holding the Cougars to only two, both coming in the second half.

Houston’s defense held up well, but UC Riverside’s attack overwhelmed it until it finally cracked. Had it not been for junior goalkeeper Samantha Cude recording five saves in her first start, Houston might have found itself in a bigger hole than the 1–0 shutout it got stuck in.

Houston is now 2–4 this season, but it will have a chance to even up its record with home games Friday against Sam Houston and Sunday against McNeese.

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