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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Bobcat soccer exits Sun Belt Tournament after overtime loss to Troy

The+Texas+State+womens+soccer+team+stands+in+a+line+and+waves+their+hands+along+to+the+school+song+as+its+played+following+their+3-1+victory%2C+Sunday%2C+Oct.+25%2C+2020%2C+at+the+Bobcat+Soccer+Complex.+The+shape+they+make+with+their+hands+is+the+Heart+of+Texas+hand+sign+used+to+represent+Texas+State.

The Texas State women’s soccer team stands in a line and waves their hands along to the school song as it’s played following their 3-1 victory, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, at the Bobcat Soccer Complex. The shape they make with their hands is the “Heart of Texas” hand sign used to represent Texas State.

Texas State women’s soccer exited the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Nov. 2 after losing to Troy University 1-0 in heartbreaking fashion after extra time.
The Bobcats failed to convert on several clear chances in 96 minutes of play against a visibly inferior Troy side. Texas State dominated most of the game with their relentless pressing and pace, keeping Troy stumped in the little possession it managed.
Outside of the first two minutes, when Troy found almost all of its opportunities, Texas State dominated the first half. The Bobcats quickly settled into their progressive passing and immediately pressed the Trojans early on. The first Texas State shot of the half came from sophomore midfielder Karlee Torisk but was comfortably saved by freshman goalkeeper Lindsey LaRoche, who saw a lot of action due to Texas State’s press and Troy’s inability to retain possession.
The floodgates opened for the Bobcats after the 20th minute as they managed four shots in just five minutes, three of which were on target but saved by LaRoche. Senior midfielder/forward Mackenzie Smith almost put Texas State up in the 27th minute as she chipped a shot over the outstretched arms of LaRoche, bouncing off the crossbar just inches from the goal line before the Troy defense booted the ball away.
The entry of freshman forward Olivia Wright in the 31st minute sparked much of the dynamic play down the middle for the Bobcats. Wright’s pace and skillful manipulation of the ball created opportunities throughout the game for Texas State.
About two minutes later, the Bobcats’ clearest chance of the game fell to Smith once again, as she found herself one on one with LaRoche with the whole of the goal at her mercy, but the shot was saved.
Texas State totaled six shots and four on target in the first half, but as was the case many times this season, did not convert clear cut chances. On the other end, Troy only managed three shots with one on target.
Texas State started out the second half strong and established the same patterns of play as the first half. The press won the ball back over and over again, but LaRoche comfortably met every single threat. Texas State earned four corners in the second half, all defended or cleared by Troy.
The Bobcats’ press relented at times in the second half due to fatigue, but the attacking effort remained aggressive. Several times Smith found herself in behind the right side of the Troy backline, but her crosses and cutbacks led to no end product.
LaRoche, despite her heroic save against Smith in the second half, really displayed her skillset in the second half. Playing up high as a sweeper-keeper, LaRoche served as an outlet for the Trojan defenders when the Texas State press became too much to handle. LaRoche ended the night with eight saves compared to freshman goalkeeper Beth Agee’s two, highlighting the discrepancy in creativity and control between the teams.
The best chance of the second half for the Bobcats came in the 90th minute at the feet of sophomore midfielder Bailey Peschel, who, from the middle left of the box, attempted to lift her shot past LaRoche, who was uncharacteristically poorly positioned and off her line. LaRoche made a diving save preventing a goal, as several Bobcats came crashing in for the rebound.
Tied at 0-0, the game went to extra time, and once again Texas State started strong. Senior forward Sydney Kammer ran through the Troy defense, forcing a corner. The Bobcats’ seventh corner of the game yielded once again came to nothing.
Despite dictating play for most of the game, it only took one mistake to end Texas State’s season. In the 96th minute, a loose ball found the feet of junior defender Kate Eubanks, who sent a long pass 70 yards over the Bobcat press to freshman forward Erin Bloomfield. Bloomfield cut through the defense and put the chance past Agee into the bottom right of the goal for the game-winner and her first collegiate goal.
Texas State outshot Troy 16 to five and eight to three on attempts on goal. The finish encapsulated a rough season for the Bobcats, one marred by inconsistent finishing and brutal losses in extra time. In post-game interviews, Head Coach Kat Conner frequently commented on finishing games and converting chances on goal.
Seniors like Smith, Kammer and midfielder Renny Moore leave the team with gaps to fill, along with the already present issues Conner must address. For now, the young team returns to San Marcos with experience and hard-learned lessons.
Troy will go on to face Georgia State in the quarterfinals on Nov. 4.

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