Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Soccer beats A&M Commerce in eighth-straight home win

Julia Maenius

UTSA women’s soccer beat A&M Commerce 4-1 on Thursday evening at Park West Soccer Complex. Playing at home was not the only advantage UTSA received on Thursday as Commerce scoring on themselves gave the ‘Runners an opportunity to bounce back from their previous loss and tied games. 

From the start, the Roadrunners employed an aggressive offense. UTSA made nine shots against Commerce and put a third of those through the goal in the first half. Commerce only took three shots against UTSA and either missed the goal or were blocked by keeper Jasmine Kessler.

The Roadrunners’ offense was an immediate force to be reckoned with. Right after the first two minutes of the game, Alex Granville scored from the left side of the goal with an assist from Alissa Stewart.

An early goal gave the team the momentum they needed to win after their previous game. “I think it gave us a lot of confidence moving forward. I mean, we wanted to put one away early and I think that we were all on the same page about that. I was lucky enough to be on a very, very good cross,” Granville said.

Olivia Alvarez was quick to follow the tone. Alvarez took a hit that knocked her to the ground and with that, she was awarded a penalty kick. Seconds after the clock passed the three-minute mark, Alvarez had put in the second goal of the game, making the score 2-0. 

“We always put our bodies on the line,” Alvarez said. “We know it’s going to be good for the whole team.”

Defender Sabrina Hillyer made a goal after the first 17 minutes of the game. The ball was carried up half the field by several of her teammates before she successfully took the lead and scored.

“To be honest, I saw open space in front of me. I trusted that my teammates were going to look over their shoulder and see me running. I was yelling at them to play it to me because I had so much space in front of me,” Hillyer said. “I felt like I just had to keep my composure and I knew I had time and space on it. So just making a good connection with the ball and picking my head up and taking a look at where the goal was before I hit it.”

The final goal for the ‘Runners in the first half came from an unexpected source, the opposing team. 

“When our players are putting so much pressure on their team and so close to their goal, sometimes the other team makes mistakes,” Hillyer said.

Midfielder Jordyn Hyland took a corner kick and got the ball so close to the goal that when Commerce’s keeper and defenders attempted to push out the ball, they actually guided it towards the goal as Commerce scored on themselves. The ‘Runners led 4-0 in the first half. 

“I think we put them under so much pressure so it was really us doing the work,” Alvarez said. “They got rattled.”

During the first half, there was no need for the ‘Runners to be on the defense. The game slowed during the second half as Commerce picked up the pace and became more offensive, having even more possession of the ball than they did in the first half.

Former UTSA soccer player Savannah Powell was awarded a free kick for Commerce. Despite the ‘Runners’ efforts to block the goal, the ball ricocheted through a huddle of players and found its way past the goal line for TAMC’s first and final goal of the evening.

Both teams maintained their scores for 30 minutes after the last goal was made. The final score was 4-1. UTSA took a total of 13 shots while A&M Commerce only took six.

“Really proud of the way our team started,” coach Derek Pittman said. “We wanted to start aggressive, we wanted to be on the front foot and create chances as early as we possibly could. We know we are better when we start the game fast and I thought our players did a great job of that in the first half.”

“Disappointed in the second half, we talked about that at halftime,” Pittman continued. “We cannot lower our standards, good teams play to their standard regardless of their opponent and we didn’t do that tonight.”

UTSA has won eight straight home games but lost and tied their last two away games. “We haven’t gotten a win on the road yet and it’s not because we haven’t played well. We have to be able to put 90 minutes together and we need to be able to do that on the road. So we’re looking to be able to do that on Sunday,” Pittman said. “Hopefully that carries us into next week when we start conference play.”

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About the Contributors
Haley Aguayo
Haley Aguayo, Assistant Sports Editor
Haley (she/her) is a senior at UTSA who is majoring in digital communications and minoring in marketing and will be graduating in December 2024. She joined The Paisano in the spring of 2023 and primarily writes for the sports section. Haley has since become the assistant sports editor at The Paisano. After she graduates, she hopes to work in sports journalism or do in-house marketing for a professional sports team.
Julia Maenius
Julia Maenius, Assistant Sports Editor
Julia is a third-year English major with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in communications. She has a passion for sports and literature. During her time at The Paisano, Julia has been a staff writer and is currently the assistant sports editor. When she is not at school or writing, she interns for the UTSA Athletics Communications department. As a native of Fredericksburg, she enjoys hiking and peaches. In her free time, she loves to read and find the best coffee shops around her.

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