A promising start to the season continued on Friday, Sept. 13 as UTSA soccer (4-2-1) took on the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles. The Roadrunners were coming off a second-place finish this past weekend in their home tournament and looked to rebound after a 5-0 home defeat to the University of South Florida on Sept. 8.
The ‘Runners created opportunities early and often in the first half. The three forwards, Abby Kassal, Ellis Patterson and Lexi Bolton, continuously found ways to get behind the Golden Eagle defense.
Bolton put the ‘Runners ahead early in the 9th minute thanks to a low cross from Patterson. The ‘Runners maintained the majority of possession throughout the first half, mustering seven total shots, three of which were on goal.
The ‘Runner defense, led by senior Harper Luczka, proved tough for the Golden Eagles’ attack to break down. This allowed only three shots in the first half. Sophie Millich made two key saves to keep the ‘Runners ahead, but a loose ball after her second save found its way to ORU forward Samantha See; the Golden Eagles equalized.
Bolton was a star in the second half, shaking off a slight knock she obtained in the first half. In the 46th minute, Bolton took a free-kick that looked destined for the top right corner but was saved by the keeper. Bolton again continued to make light work of the Golden Eagle defense, dribbling past a few defenders and firing a rocket of a shot on goal. Millich came up big when the ‘Runners needed her most. A save in the 60th minute to kept the game level at 1 apiece. Patterson had a quick turn and shoot scenario that fell to her feet inside the box in the 75th minute but her attempt sailed just left of goal.
The key moment of the game happened in the 76th minute with the Golden Eagles firing a hard shot to the top left corner in attempt to give them the 2-1 lead, but Millich once again came up big and managed to tip the ball onto the crossbar and keep the ‘Runners in the game. Full-time ended 1-1, and the game would carry over into extra-time.
The ‘Runners kept the ORU keeper busy with a potential goal by Patterson that would have won the game but it was saved twice by the ORU keeper. The ensuing ‘Runner corner kick hit the crossbar.
In the second period of extra-time, Bolton did all she could to help the ‘Runners, firing shot after shot, but the bal’ could not find the back of the net. The ‘Runners end the game level 1-1 and now hold a record of 3 wins, 2 defeats and 1 draw.
The ‘Runners closed out the weekend playing at Houston Baptist on Sunday night where they would end up winning the game 1-0. Maci Bakarich served the ball into the box off a corner kick and after a series of passes between players, the ball fell to the feet of Deja Sandoval who put it into the back of the net to give the ‘Runners the 1-0 lead. This was Sandoval’s first collegiate goal. Sophie Millich once again picked up a clean sheet, her third of the season. With the result against Houston Baptist, the ‘Runners improve to 4-2-1 on the season.
The Roadrunners will be back at Park West September 22, to take on Middle Tennessee and begin conference play. Come out and support your fellow ‘Runners!