The women’s soccer team looks for its first win of the season in unfamiliar territory.
ACU travels to Austin to take on the University of Texas- San Antonio at the Mike A. Myers Stadium on Friday at 4:30 p.m. The game is part of the Longhorns’ tournament that also features no. 5 North Carolina and no. 18 Ohio State.
The Wildcats then play UC Irvine in College Station at Ellis Field, home of the Texas A&M Aggies, Sunday at 10 a.m. It will be the first time in the program’s history to play at either pitch.
“It’s exciting to get to go and play at these places against really good teams,” junior Maria Gomez said. “The single most important thing for us to do is work together as a team and figure out our mistakes. Keeping our heads up no matter what is always important too.”
The Wildcats enter the match against UTSA with an 0-2-0 record with losses coming against the University of Arizona (0-4) and the University of Texas- El Paso (0-1). ACU held the match against UT-El Paso scoreless for most of the game, until a late shot in the 81st minute found its mark for the Miners.
“We are still trying to all get in sync with each other,” head coach Casey Wilson said. “There are quite a few new players this year and we have been using these pre-season games to see what works and what doesn’t with the personnel we have. Playing high quality and elite teams will expose our weaknesses and force us to do things better and I can’t think of any better way to prepare us for conference play.”
The Roadrunners are coming off a 2-1 overtime loss against Southland Conference member Sam Houston State in their season opener. UTSA jumped out to a 1-0 lead, before giving up a goal in the 42nd minute. Heading into overtime, the Bearkats struck first to hand the Roadrunners the loss on their home field.
Offensively, the Wildcats have struggled, not scoring since their exhibition game against Baylor on Aug. 15. ACU put up just two shots (none on goal) against Arizona. The Wildcats were more aggressive against UT-El Paso, putting up 10 shots, three on goal, but still failing to find the netting.
“In a sport like soccer you just have to focus on getting quality opportunities to score and if you get enough of them you are going to start putting some in and gaining some confidence,” Wilson said. “We will just focus on taking advantage of our opportunities.”
Against the Miners, the Wildcats played well defensively. Junior goal keeper Kelsey Dombrowski turned in an impressive performance, recording seven saves on eight shots, with the lone goal allowed coming late in the ball game.
“Defensively against UTSA we will continue to try to not let any balls split our defense or get to our goalie,” Gomez said. “Getting up in the air for those fifty-fifty balls and headers and making use of any ball that could potentially come back to our defensive third is what we plan to do.”
After spending the past week at home for the first week of classes, the Wildcats feel prepared to earn their first win of the season.
“We watched film and saw our mistakes and things we did right so we’ve been practicing to try to fix those simple things that can make big differences,” Gomez said. “We compete a lot at practice and it makes everything that much more fun but also makes everyone work harder. This impacts our work ethic and ability and desire to get better and win games, especially against this talent and caliber.”