Soccer keeps perfect record at Teal Match

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Soccer keeps perfect record at Teal Match

Texas State celebrates after the game-winning goal off of a penalty kick from senior Kaylee Davis. Photo courtesy of Texas State athletics.

Texas State celebrates after the game-winning goal off of a penalty kick from senior Kaylee Davis. Photo courtesy of Texas State athletics.

Texas State celebrates after the game-winning goal off of a penalty kick from senior Kaylee Davis. Photo courtesy of Texas State athletics.

Texas State celebrates after the game-winning goal off of a penalty kick from senior Kaylee Davis. Photo courtesy of Texas State athletics.

Andrew Zimmel

In a game that went all the way to overtime, Texas State soccer was able to narrowly topple Houston Baptist with a 2-1 victory at home on Sunday thanks to the foot of Kaylee Davis.

The fourth annual “Teal Game,” a match that annually raises awareness for ovarian cancer and opportunities for testing and treatment, was the match of the season so far for the Bobcats.

The victory kept their 17-game undefeated streak alive, a record that ties with UCLA for No. 1 in the nation and stretches back to last season. Davis sank two penalty kicks, a feat which marked the most in Texas State history as well as put the Bobcats at a program best record of 4-0.

The game also meant a lot for head coach and cancer survivor Kat Conner, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer five years ago and was able to battle back and remain on the sidelines for the Bobcats.

“Starting my fifth year of survivorship, it’s always a special time for me, especially September,” Conner said. “It’s really special to be on this field and always working with these young ladies and just being around the soccer game. It’s just what I love to do.”

In the first half, HBU was on the hunt, pushing the pace and making the Bobcat defense work harder than it had all season up to this point. Defensive anchor Heather Martin had her work cut out for her, managing to save all but one of HBU’s five cracks at goal.

In the 24th minute, Houston Baptist’s Noor Abukishk pulled a shot on the right side of the box that Martin blocked but was unable to grab. This led to Xya Balderas sneaking the ball between two Bobcat defenders for the early goal, making a first-half 1-0 score for HBU.

“I know (Martin) is upset about (giving up that goal),” Conner said. “I think she’s more mad at herself that she didn’t get that one cleaner, but then for her to bounce back up and try to get on that second ball she knows how to do that.”

According to Texas State, that goal snapped a 496-minute shutout streak that the team had been keeping up since the Sun Belt Conference Tournament semifinals last year against South Alabama.

“I thought (HBU) was flying fast and furious,” Conner said. “I thought they had great pace and to tell you the truth it didn’t look that way on the game film.”

In the 36th minute the Bobcats began to put pressure on their opponent’s defense. Sophomore forward Hannah Solano’s shot attempt bounced off a Husky’s hand and gave senior Davis a chance to tie it up with a penalty kick in the left corner.

In the second half, neither team could get a clean shot, with the Bobcats taking five shots and Huskies six. At times in the match, HBU seemed to have the momentum and might have been able to score off clean crosses and an up-tempo offensive game plan, but to the Bobcats’ credit the defense held strong and forced the first OT of the season for the ‘Cats.

“In the second half, we discussed that we needed to play more to each other’s feet and bring each other back into the game.” Conner said. “HBU did an excellent job of trying to put the pressure on us and force us to make mistakes. Our defense did well, and I thought that’s when we changed the point of attack.”

With 1:35 left in overtime, Davis landed another PK in the bottom right corner of the net after a Husky. The goal marked the first time ever that a Bobcat had been able to score two PKs in one match and was Davis’ 28th career goal, moving her to the fourth-place spot in program history.

“It’s wonderful (to play an overtime game early in the season) because that’s where you build your perseverance, that’s where you build your grittiness,” Conner said. “That’s where the players know they can really dig deep and get more out of themselves and pull out their true gifts and talents.”

Texas State entered the match hot off a trip to the Alamo City after shutting out their rivals University of Texas-San Antonio for a 1-0 win on Friday night.

The 1-0 final score was their third of the season, marking a program-best for a beginning season record and keeping their streak for shutouts alive.

The game was once again won by the foot of Davis, this time in an early 11th minute shot capitalized off of a free kick from Sarah Everett.

Martin logged three saves to her record in her full-game 90 minutes of play, and the defense was able to hold off the Roadrunners’ twelve shots with three on goal.

The Bobcats took eight shots and cracked three on goal at the game that set two new program bests.

The weekend’s wins keep the Bobcats at a perfect 4-0 as they pack their bags for El Paso to face the University of Texas-El Paso Miners on Friday.

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