Bobcats to face Islanders Friday in first home game of season

By: 

Sports Reporter

The Texas State soccer team is coming off of a 2-1 victory over New Mexico State University as the Bobcats turn their attention to their home opener against the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders.

The Bobcats will host the Islanders Friday, who are coming off a 3-0 victory over Texas Southern. They will play Northwestern State’s team, which is following a 3-0 loss to Louisiana-Monroe, on Sunday.

Ali Myers, senior midfielder, stressed the importance of defensive cohesiveness. As long as the defensive backline is balanced and pressures the opponent, players can prevent counter-attacks and other scoring opportunities.

“Defensively we need to stay as a unit, compact the space and get the other player’s head down,” Myers said. “It is important to shift and pressure together. This comes from being disciplined in each area of the field, from the forward line through the midfield and back to our defensive line.”

Texas State has attempted 17 shots with an 11.8 conversion percentage, which is lower than last year. 52.9 percent of their shots have been on goal this season.

“I think offensively we need to keep a flow of possession going,” said Jourdan Brown, senior midfielder. “If we can all keep moving off the ball for each other and make the ball do the work, then we can be more successful and have even more chances at goal. Also, if we can continue to follow up shots like Kassi (Hormuth) did in the New Mexico State game, we will continue to finish plays around the net.”

The Bobcats will look to control the tempo and intensity level in both contests.

“As a team, every time we step foot on a field, whether it is in practice or in a game, tempo and possession is one of the most crucial elements to be successful,” Myers said. “We demand a high pace and rhythm of the game in every drill to prepare us and keep us training at game pace.” 

The team targets two touches per player to keep the ball moving, which stretches the defense to its limits, Myers said. The quick movement requires players to remain mentally involved throughout the entire game.

“When we keep the ball moving, we can stretch the other teams and find seams to break them apart,” Myers said. “Our team values possession and the beauty and knowledge behind it. We have a roster full of creative and talented players all over the field who are each important assets to this team.”

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi scored two goals in the final 20 minutes to defeat Texas Southern 3-0 in the team’s previous game.

“I think TAMUCC is going to come out on Friday excited and will use energy from their win last weekend,” Brown said. “We are going to need to beat that intensity right when the whistle blows.”

Texas State’s opponent on Sunday, Northwestern State, is 1-1 this season with a plus-five goal differential. Northwestern State was outscored by three goals against Louisiana-Monroe in their last matchup.

“With Northwestern State, I'm sure they are going to be emotional from their loss and do everything to try not to make that happen again,” Brown said. “We are going to have to realize that and be prepared for a tough and physical match. We will need to just stay calm and keep the ball and then make sure we are reading the opportunities to go forward and shoot so that we can put our stamp on the game and come out with a win.”

The Bobcats have won five of their last seven home openers, dating back to the 2008-09 season.

“We are eager and excited to come out Friday night with our first home opener game,” Brown said. “You can expect intensity all over the field. Our team is fired up and ready to set the tone on our home field of Bobcat soccer. We are physically, mentally and emotionally ready for this season’s kickoff and anticipate excellence and intensity all over the field.”

Follow Derek Lopez on Twitter: @Lopez_Derek806