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

UTSA soccer falls to No. 12 Memphis

UTSA soccer dropped its second game in a row, losing 1-0 to Memphis on Thursday evening at Park West Athletics Complex. The match was the Roadrunners second in the new American Athletic Conference.

The Tigers (8-1, 2-0 AAC) came into the match ranked No. 12 in the United Soccer Coaches Poll, giving the ‘Runners (5-4-2, 0-2) an underdog edge.

“We definitely got a heads up that they were ranked,” defender Sasjah Dade said. “Just playing them and going toe-to-toe with them was the plan from the jump.”

Dade maintained her defensive aggression throughout the game. She attacked incoming balls, blocked goal shots and acted as a shield for her team at times. 

“I feel proud and frustrated,” Dade said. “I’m proud because I feel we executed the game plan well, and then frustrated that the result was set up the way that it [was]. But it definitely was a good game for us.” 

Memphis attempted several shots at UTSA in the first half, but freshman keeper Jasmine Kessler managed to block nearly every shot. She may have been the reason that the ranked Tigers weren’t able to leave with a higher score, although she may disagree. 

“It’s really a whole team effort,” Kessler said. “There are 10 other players on the field with me. [Memphis] have out shot other teams 29-5 and we held them to 11 shots. That’s not me, that’s my backline and my midfield and my forwards preventing the ball from getting back there preventing the shots.” 

Kessler blocked several attempts made in the final minutes in the first half. The Tigers managed to score in the 43rd minute, giving them a boost of momentum heading into the locker room. 

Despite the loss, Olivia Alvarez described how the team played with grit. 

“We fought until the very end,” Alvarez said.

As for how the team performed as a whole, head coach Derek Pittman would agree with tenacity and grit.

“It was a gritty performance where kids across the board played both defensively and offensively,” Pittman said. “We knew we were going to be up against arguably a top team in our conference and it was going to take everything we had. From the players that were on the bench, to the players that have started and played a lot of minutes. That was a gritty performance for our entire team.”

“To go toe-to-toe with arguably one of the top-10 teams in the country, I’m extremely proud of our players and the effort they showed,” Pittman continued. 

The ‘Runners are now 1-5 at home this season, with Thursday being their first loss at Park West.

UTSA will look to bounce back against North Texas. The ‘Runners and Mean Green will play at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, at Park West Athletics Complex. 

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About the Contributors
Haley Aguayo, Assistant Sports Editor
Haley (she/her) is a junior at UTSA who is majoring in digital communications and minoring in marketing. Haley earned her Associate of Arts from Dallas College before transferring to UTSA. While attending Dallas College, she joined the Richland Chronicle where she became a copyeditor and won an award from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association for in-depth reporting. Despite winning an award for gubernatorial coverage, her true passion is sports journalism. Haley joined The Paisano in the spring of 2023 and primarily writes for the sports section. In her downtime, she loves spending time with her family and watching football games. After she graduates, Haley hopes to work in sports journalism or do in-house marketing for a professional sports team.
Dustin Vickers, Photo Editor
Dustin (He/Him) is a third-year medical humanities major with a concentration in health careers. After graduation, he plans on attending medical school in hopes of becoming an emergency radiologist. When he’s out of the classroom, he is helping run the swim club with his co-president, blasting some sick beats, or looking for a good spot to grub.

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