Bobcats reflect on season heading into tournament play

By: 

Sports Reporter

The Texas State soccer team’s 10-6-2 overall record is only one indication of the Bobcats’ improvement from last season.

The Bobcats began the season with a draw against UTEP. Then they kicked into gear, spurring a four-game winning streak.

Within the first five games, the Bobcats were already off to a better start than the 2013 season, which they opened with a 3-2 record.

“The biggest thing we needed to work on was the mental side,” Coach Kat Conner said. “I think our players have done a phenomenal job, and the record speaks for it.”

The overall record also reflects the toughest losses of the season. The Bobcats’ four-game winning streak ended with back-to-back losses against TCU and UTSA.

The team clinched the third seed in the Sun Belt Conference tournament. Here are the highlights of the 2014 season.

TORI HALE REWRITES HISTORY

Prior to this season, Britney Curry, forward from 2007-2010, held the all-time individual career record in assists (17).

Tori Hale, senior forward, entered the season with 15 career assists. Hale rewrote soccer history on Sept. 26 when she tied the all-time assist record in the team’s 2-1 win against Arkansas State. Hale assisted on the shot by Lynsey Curry, junior forward, that led the Bobcats to victory.

“Playing another year together has given us the chance to click with each other,” Curry said. “(Tori’s) energy and ability to score helps everyone come together and play better, including myself.”

In her final season, Hale has continued to impact the team. She’s started every game, playing 1,098 minutes. Since 2012, Conner has helped Hale maximize her talents on the soccer field. Breaking the assist record symbolizes her athletic capabilities while reflecting a drive to see the team succeed together.

“Tori has a great mentality and always strives for excellence,” Conner said. “Hale is an overall role model for the team. She is one of those players who leads by example, and you always need that type of player.”

TEAM UNITY

Win, lose or draw—no game is the same.

One of the toughest losses this season was against Louisiana-Monroe 1-2. The box score didn’t appear to reflect the game accurately.

“The loss against UL-Monroe was too disappointing being that we were expected to win,” Hale said. “It knocked us off of our rhythm for a bit.”

Louisiana-Monroe managed to score in the 53rd and 68th minutes of the second half despite the consistent pressure and attack by the Bobcats. Hale assisted a comeback goal in the 61st minute to Landry Lowe, junior midfielder, but the Bobcats did not capitalize on the 15 shots attempted in the second half.

“It was our first loss following our loss against South Alabama,” Curry said. “We were upset with ourselves because it prevented us from having the number-one spot in (the) Sun Belt Conference.”

The loss hasn’t stopped the Bobcats from improving on one of the most important aspects in sports.

The team celebrated during the senior farewell ceremony after winning the final home game of the season against Louisiana-Lafayette 2-1. For the Bobcats, soccer is about more than playing together. The friendships and bonds between each player extend outside the locker room.

“The bond we had with this team was unlike any other season,” Curry said. “Our chemistry helps us not only build personally but on the field as well.”