Ashley Alonzo and Kaisa Marshall each notched a goal and an assist as Sam Houston State beat Texas Southern, 6-0, in the Bearkat’s season opener. The six Bearkat goals is the most since September 2011.
Sophomore Ashley Alonzo got the scoring started in the 14th minute after a great run from the right flank. A header from junior transfer Kaisa Marshall played Alonzo in and she slotted it past the goalkeeper.
“We wanted to get an early jump on them so that we could get a lot of different players involved so we’re not racking up minutes early in the year,” said head coach Tom Brown. “We’ve had some struggles with that in the past with games like this. Some of our key players have gotten worn down.”
Six minutes later Alonzo crossed a ball in from the right side and sophomore Mariah Titus put it in the back of the net.
Just over a minute after the Kats made it 2-0, a Texas Southern defender brought down a Bearkat in the box to draw a penalty kick. Freshman Megan Bennett buried the penalty to the right side as the ‘keeper dove left.
Sam Houston continued to dominate the right side in the first half as freshman substitute Maddy Panozzo crossed into the box and fellow sub, junior Jessica Toms, slid in to hit the ball into the roof of the net and make the score 4-0 after 40 minutes.
“Scoring goals was our biggest problem last season and hopefully this will be a big boost for us,” Brown said. “I thought our starters and starting group looked sharp tonight.”
After halftime Marshall put one in the back of the net after Shelby McDaniel played her in from a through ball down the center of the field. Marshall was one-on-one with the goalkeeper and buried it.
In the 64th minute Mariah Titus got on the score sheet for the second time after a long throw-in from freshman Shannon Shields to make the score 6-0.
Texas Southern put the ball in the back of the net in the second half but the goal was waved off when the player was ruled offside.
The six goals for SHSU is already equal to half of what the Kats scored in 2012. Last season’s Bearkat team scored only 12 goals in the entire season. The Bearkats hope to build off of the six-goal performance
“We feel really good about (scoring six goals),” Ashley Alonzo said. “We had trouble scoring goals last season but after this first game it gives us a lot of confidence for the games to come.”
Next up for the Kats is a tournament at Texas-San Antonio with the Kats playing the Roadrunners Friday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. and South Dakota State, Sunday morning. SHSU will be back home Sunday, Sept. 8 against Prairie View A&M.