Soccer continues strong form during Homecoming week

Ryder Martin, Sports Editor

The UTSA Roadrunners (8-4-2, C-USA 3-2-1) were in action this past week during Homecoming festivities against Louisiana Tech (5-7-3, C-USA 1-3-2) and the Rice Owls (9-5-1, C-USA 3-3-0). After a hard-fought game by both sides, the ‘Runners fought to a 2-2 draw against Louisiana Tech on Thursday, Oct. 14. On Sunday, Oct. 17, the ‘Runners returned to their winning ways, defeating Rice 1-0 after scoring a goal during sudden death overtime. 

The game against Louisiana Tech kicked off Thursday night and was a tight one from the get-go. Throughout the first half, keepers Jil Schneider of UTSA and Libe Banuelos of LA Tech were in fine form. Pressed into service numerous times in the half, neither cracked and after the first half the game remained tied 0-0 with Schneider registering two saves and Banuelos registering three. In the second half though, the flood gates opened as both offenses found their rhythm. In the 65th minute, Marcela Gallo of LA Tech put one past Schneider to open up the early lead. It wouldn’t last very long, though, as just two minutes later in the 67th minute LA Tech’s Josie Studer committed a foul in the penalty area that sent Isa Hernandez to the penalty spot for UTSA. Hernandez calmly distributed the ball into the right side of the net and tied the game at one. It appeared the game was destined to head to overtime with this score, but in the 89th minute UTSA’s Kendall Kloza committed a foul in the penalty area, and Studer converted the penalty for LA Tech to take a 2-1 lead. With time in very short supply, UTSA immediately went on the attack to push for an equalizer and they were rewarded. LA Tech’s Lauren Egbuloniu fouled Anna Sutter in the box and sent UTSA’s Marlee Fray to the penalty spot. Fray sent Banuelos the wrong direction and put the ball into the bottom left corner of the net to tie the game back up 2-2 in the dying seconds. With the game heading towards overtime, UTSA was dealt one last complication when Sasjah Dade was given a red card in the 90th minute, reducing the ‘Runners to 10-women for the overtime period. Luckily, strong goalkeeping and defense from the ‘Runners saw the overtime period end scoreless and the ‘Runners escaped on Homecoming night with a 2-2 draw. 

On Sunday afternoon in Houston to take on Rice, the drama did not abate whatsoever. The two teams played a highly competitive first half of football that saw Schneider and Rice keeper Bella Killgore each record three saves. The second half was similarly competitive, but it appeared that Rice was beginning to exert their will offensively more than the ‘Runners. Although each team recorded eight shots in regular time, neither could find the back of the net, so UTSA headed for their second overtime game of the week and third of their last four. In overtime, UTSA came out highly competitive, controlling possession of the ball and limiting the offensive opportunities for the Owls. As time wound down, the game looked all set to head for a second overtime period. In a moment of brilliance, a clearance by the UTSA defense found the foot of Sutter, who had slipped behind the Rice defense and found herself all alone on a breakaway. Sutter calmly controlled the ball and with the defense beginning to close in behind her, waited until the last possible second to make Killgore commit and poked the ball past her into the bottom left-hand corner of the net. Sutter’s teammates stormed the field in celebration as UTSA secured a vital conference win over the Owls on the back of their second golden goal in four games. The victory was also significant as it clinched UTSA a spot in the Conference USA tournament championship for the first time in program history. 

UTSA will return to the pitch at home on Friday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. to take on the UAB Blazers (5-8-2, C-USA 3-3-0). For those unable to attend the game in person, the game will be available to stream on