This weekend, we had two of our toughest games of the season. We hosted UTSA and Texas State to close out our regular season. We started out the season with a chance (albeit a slim one) of winning the conference title, and a much better chance at getting either of the two top seeds for the tournament, which would have given us a first round bye. The first round bye is HUGE, because the first two rounds of the tournament are played on Thursday and Friday, respectively. None of us are 11 years old anymore, and two games back to back like that are really hard work for our field players.
On Friday, UTSA came into town tied for first place in the conference. We were third, so we knew we had to beat them to have a chance at the higher seed. It was also senior night. All five of us seniors were honored before the game, and I was doing well not getting emotional until I saw my mom’s face. She had tears in her eyes the whole way she was walking me onto the field! I did get a little choked up, but it wasn’t anything too bad, and I was definitely ready for the game. It was such a weird feeling being a senior. I always had the feeling like I had all the time in the world to get my soccer goals accomplished here, and all of a sudden, it was a slap in the face that I had only two more home games left! We didn’t play really well against UTSA, which was a big disappointment. I wanted to win on senior night, and we came just short and lost 1-0. We created tons of opportunities, including some that were on a completely open net, and just couldn’t get any finished.
Saturday, we had our recovery session, which was focused on finishing, specifically the crossing game that we always do. The girls were really focused on it, which was nice to see. They were definitely burying the same shots that were missed only hours before in the game. I just wish it could have happened sooner!
Sunday, we played Texas State. I have always hated Texas State, and Sunday didn’t do anything to help that. I think I got caught up in the fact that it was my last EVER home game: last time to meet in the team meeting room, last time to change in the locker room, last time to swerve through campus all the way to the field. I also think my emotions about Texas State got the best of me, and I didn’t have my best game. We ended up losing 4-1, and I take full credit for one of the goals. Nobody really had a great game, which was another disappointment. I wanted to go into the tournament strong off of two wins!
After our losses, we will go into the tournament this Thursday as the #5 seed, and play none other than Texas State again at their home field (they’re the tournament hosts). Although our loss on Sunday was a tough one to take, I feel like it might give us a little bit of an advantage going into Thursday. Texas State definitely didn’t see the Sam Houston team that we know we can be! I’m excited to get another chance to play them, and I think the second time around will definitely be better than the first! I’m confident that, if we play like we know we can, then we will go deep into this tournament! We play Thursday night at 7 pm, so if anyone can make a trip to San Marcos, we really need your support!
-- Jenny Pence