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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 loses to Arkansas State in extra time

Texas State soccer (2-8-1 overall, 2-4-0 Sun Belt) lost 0-1 on a penalty to the undefeated Arkansas State University (7-0-0 overall, 6-0-0 Sun Belt) after 100 minutes and four periods of defensive play.
The first half was mostly Red Wolf (Arkansas State) dominance, with Texas State looking to get what they could off counters and failed clearances and the odd won ball after pressing. Arkansas State insisted on long ball passes over the top and through the wings, most of which were met by the gloves of freshman goalkeeper Beth Agee, who had three saves in the first half.
Coach Kat Conner knew Arkansas State would impose its style of play and that positional discipline would be key to keeping the ball out of the net.
“They’re flying a little bit high and with confidence, so we knew they would come out be direct and be trying to push for a goal early on,” Conner said. “We [had] to stop that and not let them have it.”
Arkansas State’s left wing targeted their leading goalscorer, senior forward Sarah Sodoma, with long balls from deep in midfield and their own half.
The Bobcats’ best chance of the half came from freshman midfielder Emma Jones’ run down the left wing, leading to an attempt on goal saved by Arkansas State senior goalkeeper Megan McClure, who totaled six saves.
After the water break in the 22nd minute, the Bobcats began to control the ball and advance it down the wings for cutbacks and crosses, but none found tangible success. Conner attributed the spark in play to an increase in player responsibility after the message delivered at the break.
“We just gave a little bit more accountability to people [and said], ‘This is your role, this is what you need to be doing and we got to get it done,’” Conner said. “They came out, and I thought they responded well.”
The second half was a mirror image of the first: Arkansas State possession and long passes down the wings met by a successful defensive effort from Texas State— particularly junior defender Addison Gaetano, who repeatedly intercepted passes and stifled Red Wolf runs.
“I thought [Gaetano] did a great job in there,” Conner said. “The backline did a great job of staying compact and staying together. I thought the outside forwards did an excellent job of trying to help us squeeze that position. We just got to get a little bit better at helping the high forwards to be able to push up against the other team’s box, and I think we’ll get something.”
The Bobcats’ best chance of the second half came off a cross from junior midfielder/forward Ally Kewish, which senior forward/midfielder MacKenzie Smith nearly headed home if not for a diving save from McClure.
Tied 0-0, the teams headed into extra time in search of a golden goal with similar patterns of play shown in regulation. Texas State once again searched for counters from breakaways as Arkansas State recycled possession from wing to wing in search of a key cross or breakaway.
The second half of extra time barely developed before a penalty was called in favor of Arkansas State from a Williams foul. The spot kick was slotted past Agee, who dove the right way but could not reach the shot, by Arkansas State senior midfielder/defender Victoria MacIntosh.
Overall, the Bobcats were outshot 14 to eight by the Red Wolves. The Bobcats and Arkansas State were even with six shots on goal. Conner once again commented on the lack of clinical finishing and missed opportunities from the Bobcats, a consistent thorn in the team’s side across nearly every game.
“We got to just keep pushing on to make sure that we eliminate mistakes,” Conner said. “We created a couple ones, we even picked off the keeper a couple times [as well as last weekend]. It’s unacceptable – the keeper gives us the ball, we’ve got to finish it.”
Next up, Texas State plays the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Oct. 18 at home with the hopes of turning around their conference record. A win for the Bobcats puts them in a position to finish the season even on wins and losses should they also defeat the University of Louisiana at Monroe Oct. 25, one of two teams they have beaten so far this season.
The game against Little Rock kicks off at 1 p.m. and is streamable on ESPN+.

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