Soccer season review: Bobcats show improvement despite semifinal exit in conference tournament

Sports Reporter

Troy’s lone game goal ended Texas State’s 2014 season less than three minutes into the Sun Belt Tournament semifinals matchup.

The Bobcats showed improvement from the 2013 season.

The team ended the year with an 11-7-2 overall record and 5-3-1 in conference play.

The Bobcats had the best start in program history but lost to TCU in their seventh game.

The Bobcats began conference play with a three-game winning streak after suffering a few defeats from in-state rivals UTSA and Texas.

The program will lose an offensive threat this year with Tori Hale, senior forward, graduating. Hale’s speed was a big threat to opponents as she was usually the first one down the field. Hale helped lead the team with five goals this season.

Coach Kat Conner is left with a very young group as five seniors will leave this year.

Lynsey Curry, junior forward, led the team for the second consecutive season with seven goals and 17 points.

Throughout the season, Texas State faced fast and athletic Sun Belt Conference competitors. Any team in the Sun Belt could be beaten at any given time.

The Bobcats slipped toward the end of conference play, losing a “must-win” home game against Louisiana-Monroe. Texas State is 0-2 against ULM since joining the Sun Belt last year.

The Bobcats suffered a defensive battle to Georgia State the following week, ultimately losing their last regular season game 1-0.

Despite the losses, the Bobcats earned the third seed in the Sun Belt Conference.

Caitlynn Rinehart, junior goalkeeper, had a grand total of 61 saves for the season and racked six shutouts. Rinehart won the starting position this year and tripled her save count from the 2013 season. Rinehart became more vocal over the season and carried major defensive leadership status.

Senior defenders Brenna Smith and Michelle Bucy will leave the squad this year, forcing others to step up. Elizabeth Havenhill, freshman defender, showed excellent capabilities along with Kristen Champion, junior defender. The Bobcats’ defensive line will be in great shape for the 2015 season.

Promisingly, Kassi Hormuth, Landry Lowe and Rachel Grout are returning along with Curry. Conner will have the off-season to develop the relationship between Hormuth and Curry.

The Bobcats struggled on finishing shots and taking advantage of one-on-one breaks. The team converted on 27 of 316 shot attempts.

The team’s athletic ability is there, and its skill is being developed finely. The challenge for this young Bobcat team is remaining confident after a tough loss. Conner preached to her team about being mentally focused.

Overall, the team improved from 2013 and could potentially be a Sun Belt powerhouse in the upcoming season. 

Follow Sabrina Flores on Twitter @SabrinaFloresTX.