UTSA soccer starts 1-1 in C-USA

Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor

After being ranked fifth in the United Soccer Coaches’ South Region rankings and nationally ranked top 30 in five different categories, the Roadrunners (6-2-1, 1-1 C-USA) start their conference portion of the schedule.  

The conference opener came against the Rice Owls (2-6-0, 1-0 C-USA) on Wednesday, Sept. 14, where UTSA lost 2-1. Both of the Owl’s goals came within the first 10-minutes of the game, and both by Delaney Schultz. The ‘Runners came out slow to their standards the first 15-minutes of the game. “Bottom line is we dug ourselves in a hole, and we didn’t play well in the first 15-minutes,” head coach Derek Pittman said. However, UTSA soon started playing like themselves. Marlee Fray came off the bench and scored a goal in the 41st minute, going into halftime down 2-1. The Owls finished the first period with eight fouls to the Roadrunners’ seven, along with Rice having both three corner kicks and three shots, while UTSA had four in each category.  

UTSA went back to their defensive identity, after not only allowing another goal in the last 80-minutes but not allowing a single shot in the second period. The ‘Runners had five more shots in the second period, getting nine for the game. Unfortunately for UTSA, none of those shots turned into goals. Each team had a save, while the Owls had 12 fouls to the Roadrunners 15. UTSA also tagged along eight corner kicks to Rice’s three.  

This 2-1 loss may be good for the Roadrunners. Coach Pittman said, “We learned a hard lesson tonight: that if we don’t start the game that we should to good teams like Rice, they’re going to come in and punch you in the mouth.” The ladies will try to play up to their expectations for their next conference opponent. “We just need to come out and be ourselves,” Pittman said. 

UTSA wasted no time bouncing back from their loss, beating the Charlotte 49ers (1-6-2, 0-2 C-USA) on Sunday, Sept. 18. After not scoring in the first period, the Roadrunners scored in the 57th minute. Jordan Walker scored with the assist by Anna Sutter. The ‘Runners scored their second goal in the 77th minute, this time scored by Olivia Alvarez, with an assist by Savannah Powell. UTSA outshot the 49ers 20-6 and had 12 corner kicks to Charlotte’s three. The overall series between the two teams is 3-3-1.  

The ‘Runners now start a five-game road trip, with the next game for UTSA being in Boca Raton, FL, against Florida Atlantic (5-3-2, 1-0 C-USA) on Thursday, Sept. 22.