Soccer gets off to slow start, fails to recover in 1-3 loss


Ryan Garza

Jil Schneider clears the ball away during a game earlier this season. The sophomore keeper has appeared in all eight games for the ‘Runners this season, starting in seven of them.

Ryder Martin, Sports Editor

UTSA soccer (2-5-1, C-USA 0-3-0) returned home following a two-game stretch on the road to take on the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (4-2, C-USA 2-1-0) on Sunday, March 12. Unfortunately, a slow start for the Roadrunners in the first half, leading to three first-half goals by Southern Miss, was too much to overcome, and they went on to lose the game by a final score of 1-3. 

The scoring for the Golden Eagles got started early in the second minute as they would control a loose ball and Jenny Caracheo’s laser from outside the 18-yard box found the back left corner of the net past UTSA keeper Jil Schneider. UTSA’s Mackenzie Kaufhold attempted to respond quickly, but her effort right in front of the face of the goal was parried away by Southern Mississippi keeper Kendell Mindnich. The Golden Eagles doubled their advantage in the 25th minute after a goal kick from Mindnich was misplayed by the UTSA defense off of a couple of weird bounces, opening the door for Ariel Diaz to slot the ball past Schneider into the bottom right corner of the net to move the score to 0-2. Still obviously shaken from the previous play, the UTSA defense was caught on their back foot, and Isa Hernandez committed a blatant foul in the penalty area to hand Southern Mississippi another prime scoring opportunity. Southern Miss’s Hailey Pohevitz calmly stepped up to take the penalty and drilled the ball into the bottom left corner of the net as she caught Schneider going the opposite direction for the score. Facing a three-goal deficit, UTSA attempted to respond quickly, but back-to-back shots from Sasjah Dade and Ellis Patterson found the top of the crossbar and the fingertips of Mindnich, respectively. Tara Giesen got one last shot on net at the end of the first half, but Mindnich was there to deny the effort again, and UTSA entered halftime down 0-3 despite only being outshot 6-7. 

Opening up the second half, UTSA was finally rewarded for the pressure they had been putting on when an Ellis Patterson corner kick made it over almost everyone’s head right onto Deja Sandoval’s waiting foot for a tap in goal in the 45th minute. Playing with a two-goal advantage and fresh off conceding a quick goal to begin the second half, Southern Miss retreated into a defensive shell in order to preserve their advantage. The ‘Runners pressed hard to get back within one, but the Southern Miss defense was strong and limited the number of quality scoring chances. UTSA was held without a shot for the last 17 minutes of the game and walked away with a 1-3 loss despite outshooting Southern Mississippi 13-8 and 7-1 in the second half.

The loss keeps the ‘Runners winless in C-USA play, with scoring continuing to elude them, despite outshooting their opponents by a 100-64 margin. Following their quick pit stop at home, the ‘Runners are back on the road for their next game Sunday, March 21, where they will take on the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers (6-3-1, C-USA 1-1-0) at 11:30 a.m.