The Wildcats prepare to take on Prairie View A&M and senior day against Texas Southern this weekend for their last non-conference matchups of the season.
With the matchup against Louisiana last weekend ending in a tie, ACU now holds a 2-2-1 overall record. With being two games away from starting conference, the Wildcats have started taking advantage of these non-conference games in order to get ahead and confident for the games to come.
“We try to forewarn them, you know,” head coach Casey Wilson said. “Not just for the first week but maybe the third week, you know, it starts to become really taxing a little bit more and as long as you know it’s one of those things that they’re getting into with that, maybe they could start preparing mentally for it.”
On Friday, the Wildcats host the Panthers to try and secure their third win. The last time Prairie View A&M and ACU met was back in 2016, where the Wildcats secured the win, 5-0. In 2021, the Panthers held an overall record of 13-4-2, with a 8-1 in conference. The team tallied 35 goals on a .507 shots on goal percentage.
In the 2022 preseason poll of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), the Panthers ranked second in overall votes, right behind Grambling State, but held the most first place votes of six.
Yet, the Panthers have not started off their season on a strong note. They hold a 0-2 overall record, meeting Texas A&M Corpus Christi and mutual ACU rival, Stephen F. Austin. Prairie View A&M have only tallied one goal compared to their opponents’ 11 goals.
On Sunday, the Wildcats then host Texas Southern, another SWAC competitor, that was voted to place seventh in the preseason poll.
“I think getting us back and going will be good,” Wilson said. “Then Sunday you play Texas Southern and it is senior day so you can just highlight your senior class and what makes this group so special.”
The Wildcats and Tigers have no previous meetings before this matchup leading to brand new competiton. The Tigers go into this meeting with a 0-4 overall record, including a 0-3 game with mutual competitor, the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley.
In 2021, the Tigers held a 5-8-3 overall record with a 4-2-3 for conference. Despite their .530 shots on goal percentage, the team only secured 16 out of the 87 shots made. Continuing the trend so far in the 2022 season, the Tigers have only secured two goals compared to opponents 17 goals and holds a .438 shots on goal percentage.
On Sunday, the Wildcats prepare for senior day to recognize their seniors and their contributions to the team. The seniors include:
- Ellen Joss, defender from Louisville, Kentucky
- Caylie Catalano, defender from Redlands, California
- Natalie Jones, midfielder from Lubbock
- Jordan Michie, forward from Arlington
- Nicole Barham, forward from Long Beach, California
- Nikki Romero, forward from Grapevine
- Brennan Reuland, midfielder from Arlington
- Caylen Wright, forward from Joshua
- Faith Husbenet, defender from North Richland Hills
“We’re extremely proud and fortunate to have each and everyone of them in the program,” Wilson said. “Even some ones that have either been in the senior class and that have stuck around and got some time later on, you know, that’s impressive to me.”
The Wildcats host Prairie View A&M at 7 p.m. on Friday and Texas Southern at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Elmer Gray Stadium, streaming on WAC International.