Roadrunners’ exhibition soccer match makes history

Dsc 0130

Photo Credit: Vicente Cardenas

The UTSA Roadrunners hosted a preseason soccer match against the University of Incarnate Word (UIW) Cardinals that drew an attendance of 1,117 people on August 16, 2013. Not your typical crowd for a Friday night meeting between the two teams. The large crowd was attributed to the free admission to witness the opening ceremony of the Park West Athletics Complex. This newly built multimillion dollar complex is located just two miles from the UTSA Main campus. The ‘Runners were able to break in their new soccer field in grand fashion despite suffering a 2-1 loss to the Cardinals.

The festivities started at 6 pm when UTSA Athletics Director Lynn Hickey and UTSA President Ricardo Romo spoke to the crowd and media in attendance.

“We just want to say thank you for being here. Welcome to this historic evening. We are very proud to show our new soccer and practice facilities tonight,” Hickey said.

The Roadrunners battled the Cardinals in what turned out to be a hard fought match even for an exhibition game. UIW struck early on a cross pass in the box by Abigail Koenigs in the 9th minute of play to take a 1-0 lead. Midway through the first half Sara Flores from UIW was able to beat ‘Runners goalie Katherine Tesno one-on-one to score the second and final UIW goal of the game.

The crowd was lively the whole night and cheered their loudest when the Roadrunners finally found some success. In the 47th minute of the second half UTSA scored on a penalty goal by forward Taylor Wingerden.

UTSA battled and held possession of the ball for most of the second half. Yet they could not finish on some of their shooting opportunities resulting in the loss.

UTSA soccer head coach Steve Ballard saw plenty of positives to take away from the loss and the evening as a whole.

“Great atmosphere, we fought hard and had some breakdowns, but it just didn’t work out,” Ballard said. “They [UTSA] played with a lot of heart.”

Ballard is looking forward to what the new soccer field and complex will bring to the Roadrunners’ soccer program.

“It’s perfect, it’s beautiful. Compared to what we have had for seven years its one hundred percent better.”