Soccer advances in tournament after victory over Troy

By: 

Sports Reporter

Photo by: 

Freshman midfielder Ali Jones prepares to kick against Troy Nov. 6 at the Bobcat Soccer complex. Texas State claimed its first tournament victory 2–0.

Freshman midfielder Maddie Nichols scored a game-winning goal in the 94th minute to give the soccer team its first Sun Belt conference tournament victory Wednesday against Troy 2-1.

The Bobcats captured their first overtime win this season against Troy. The team was previously 0-3-1 in regular season overtime games before Wednesday’s matchup.

“You’re hoping it didn’t hurt you going into extra minutes,” said Coach Kat Conner. “Luckily we finished it off quickly, so that was better for us.”

The overtime period lasted three minutes after Nichols scored off a deflected corner.

“I was just standing at the right place at the right time,” Nichols said. “It could have been anyone. I was just lucky enough to get a foot on it.”

This was Nichols’ second career goal. Her first goal, against South Alabama, forced a tie in double overtime.

“It felt great to score this goal,” Nichols said. “When everyone came rushing at me, it was one of the best feelings ever.”

The Bobcats started the first 15 minutes of the game without getting a shot.

“I thought we started off a little slow,” Connor said. “Troy really came out after us and kind of put us on our heels a little bit. It took us a while to get our composure, and in the second half, we saw the Cats come out.”

At the beginning of the second half, senior forward Gabbi Cottee scored the tie-breaking goal to give the team a 1-0 lead. This was Cottee’s third goal in three games, as she only had two goals in the first 16 games.

Texas State had the edge in shots, going into the first overtime with a mark of 10-8.

“(Troy) went back in the 18 yard box and scored a goal,” Conner said. “As a coach, with the goal being under 10 minutes in the second half, it’s frustrating because as a coach, you’re wondering if you just lost that lead. The girls are resilient and worked their tails off.”

Texas State now heads to the semifinals to take on top seed Western Kentucky Friday at 7 p.m.

“Western Kentucky is a different-caliber team,” Conner said. “They have some different looks that we will have to go back and look at and explore the film tomorrow.”