The Wildcats kicked off their 2021 season home opener against Texas State, ultimately falling to the Bobcats, 1-0.
Going in, ACU knew it was going to be a close game in comparison to their last matchup in 2020, which ended in overtime, 3-2. Yet, the Wildcats went in with a game plan to attack strong right from the start.
The beginning of the first period was strong for the Wildcats. Five shots were made within the first ten minutes, including two by Christina Arteaga, a senior forward from Pflugerville. Throughout the rest of the first period, the Wildcats made three more shots while the Bobcats gained five with two on goal, where Foster held them back.
Head coach Casey Wilson said that Lily Foster, a sophomore goalkeeper from Coeur d Alene, Idaho, is a great asset to the team and just who they need.
“They got behind us a couple of times, but she made two awesome saves,” Wilson said. “She did amazing, but if we keep giving a team like that too many opportunities, they’re eventually going to put it in the net.”
Going into the second period scoreless, both teams realized they had to step up their game. The Wildcats and Bobcats went back and forth with shots, with none making it in the goal.
Towards the end of the period, the Bobcats started to pull out in front with an increasing number of shots. Finally, with four minutes left in the game, Texas State sunk the ball into the back of the net, bringing the score 1-0, which would remain when the final buzzer sounded.
“The game plan going into today was valuing the ball and keeping the ball,” Wilson said. “We just were not holding on to the ball in the second half. Whenever you don’t have the ball, you run a lot extra, giving the other team the opportunity to counterattack.”
Foster recorded a total of six saves, and Arteaga recorded a total of six shots with four on goal. Natalie Wodka, a senior midfielder from Allen, Brianna Diaz, a redshirt junior forward from Anaheim, California and Hannah Gage, a sophomore defender from Roanoke, all recorded two shots.
\Within the game, four yellow cards were handed out, two on either side, showing the game’s high intensity. Arteaga used today’s game to learn from and plans to use what they learned from their loss for future games.
“We honestly connected so many passes in the first half,” said Arteaga. “It didn’t really flow in the second half, but when we connected in the first half, it really worked.”
The Wildcats stay at home for another weekend matchup against North Texas Sunday at 1 p.m. in Elmer Gray Stadium, with the game streaming live on the WAC Digital Network.