For the second week in a row, Sam Houston State plays host to a Southland Conference women's soccer front-runner in an important home match at Pritchett Field Friday night at 7 p.m.
This week the opponents are the Bobcats from Texas State-San Marcos. Three teams still remain unbeaten in Southland Conference soccer this fall and the Cats are one of them.
Last week, Stephen F. Austin edged Sam Houston 2-1 to end the Bearkats' seven-match winning streak. The victory kept SFA perfect at 3-0 and in sole possession of first place in the league.
But Texas State-San Marcos and McNeese State are one-half game behind the Jacks with identical 3-0-1 records. Sam Houston is tied for fourth place with a 2-1 league mark. The Bearkats are 7-3 for the season.
Friday's Bearkat-Bobcat matchup features three of the Southland Conference's top goal scorers.
Britney Curry of Texas State-San Marcos is second in the league in total goals with nine this season. Sam Houston's Brazilian duo of Launa Miessa and Raquel Bueno stand No. 4 and 7, respectively. Miessa has scored seven goals and Bueno six.
Additionally, the match-up features two of the league's top defenses. Bobcat goalkeeper Mandi Mawyer has allowed only three goals in nine matches. SHSU's Jenny Pence has surrendered six goals in 10 matches.
"It's going to be another exciting challenge for our team," SHSU head coach Tom Brown said. Under Brown's guidance, the Bearkats already have totaled more victories in 2008 than in any of the previous five years of the program. Each of the matches in the seven-game winning streak was a shutout.
"The shut-out streak sort of assumed a life of its own," Brown said. "The girls needed to realize that, if we gave up a goal, it wasn't the end of the world. After we got down 2-0 against SFA last Friday, I was really proud of the way they rebounded and came back fighting in the second half. If we can play that hard this weekend, we have a good chance to be successful."
The Texas State-San Marcos match Friday is the first of two home appearances for the Bearkats this weekend. Sam Houston State will play host to Texas-San Antonio at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon, also at Pritchett Field.
There is no admission charge for Sam Houston State soccer matches at Pritchett Field.
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