Sophomore forward Kayla Walker
Sept. 20, 2012
HOUSTON– The University of Houston soccer team will begin its final Conference USA season when they host SMU at 7 p.m. on Friday and Tulsa at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Robertson Stadium. Houston enters conference play with a 4-4 record.
“We are excited to get conference play going,” head coach Chris Pfau said. “This weekend will be a good challenge playing a very good SMU team that is well coached. They will show us how far we have come and what we need to continue to work on. We will then turn around and play a tough Tulsa team that is playing very well right now. They will definitely push us on Sunday.”
The Cougars are coming off a 2-1 victory over UTSA on Sunday. Sophomore forward Alexis Weaver scored the game-winning goal and her first of the season off a pass from senior Katelyn Rhodes in the 73rd minute.
Friday marks the fourth time in program history that the Cougars have opened conference play with two home matches. Houston is 4-2-1 when opening conference at home.
“This is a great time of the season and we are in a good place,” Pfau said. “We have grown a lot in a short period of time and I have been amazed of where we are as a team. I am proud of this team and their desire to get better. If we continue this growth, I know we will be successful going into conference.”
The Mustangs are 4-4 on the season after shutting out Oklahoma, 3-0, on Sunday. They are retuning eight letterwinners, including Preseason All-Conference USA member, Mallory Baum, and redshirt sophomore Shelby Redman. Redman has scored a goal in the last three matches and currently leads the team with four goals.
SMU holds a 10-1-1 all time record against Houston. In 2010, the last time these two teams met at Robertson Stadium, the Cougars won 1-0. Friday’s match is the fourth time these two teams have met opening the conference slate.
With a double-overtime, 1-1 draw against cross-town rivals Oral Roberts on Sunday, the Golden Hurricane now hold an overall record of 5-2-1. They welcomed back 18 letterwinners, 10 of which are starters, including junior forward Claire Nicholson, who leads the team with five goals.
In the overall series, Houston leads 3-2-2 and 2-0-1 at Robertson Stadium. In the last meeting in Houston in 2010, the Cougars defeated the Golden Hurricane, 1-0, in overtime.
The Cougars will travel to Orlando to take on No. 6 UCF at 6 p.m. on Sept. 28, followed by a trip to Hattiesburg, Miss. on Sept. 30 to face Southern Miss at 1 p.m.
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