Texas State defeats Troy, will play for Sun Belt regular-season title

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Texas State Women's Soccer

Nervousness took hold of the Texas State crowd inside the Bobcat Soccer Complex just six minutes into Friday night’s match.

With a regular season championship on the line, the Bobcats needed a win to hold off second-place South Alabama for the top spot in the Sun Belt. Troy was in position to spoil Texas State’s hopes when sophomore goalkeeper Heather Martin made an uncharacteristic error.

Martin made the initial save on a Trojan shot but failed to maintain possession. Sophomore midfielder Julia Winter took control of the rebound and found the back of the net for an early Troy lead.

Life had left the complex as the whistle blew to continue play. Senior midfielder Rachel Grout took control and advanced the ball to senior midfielder Alyssa Phelan. Phelan then crossed the ball into the box to sophomore forward Kaylee Davis who found the bottom left corner of the net.

Just a minute and 15 seconds later, senior forward and captain Kassi Hormuth took on a defender one-on-one. Hormuth got the angle she needed and took the shot. Within three minutes, Texas State was on top 2-1 with a crowd fueling its momentum.

“(That first goal) was huge,” Davis said. “We had a little slip up there at the beginning. But then to come back, I don't even know how quick, definitely got our heads back in it and we knew we could do it.”

Texas State ran away with the match and went on to win 4-2. The Bobcats are now 8-1 in the Sun Belt with one game remaining on Sunday. 

The night ended in celebration but Troy didn’t go down without a fight. A quiet second half consisted of a Trojan offense controlling possession. Troy cut the lead to 3-2 when Sophomore midfielder Kate Lorenz found Winter for a header that got past Martin.

Both teams took 10 shots with five on goal but the Bobcats would get the final attempt by the goalkeeper. Sophomore defender Genesis Turman found Grout in the box for her team-high eighth goal of the season with 14 minutes remaining in the match.

“I think when Troy came out and scored first, I think (the team) said ‘you’re not going to take our dreams,’” head coach Kat Conner said. “And I think you saw that. They responded immediately with a goal right back at them. Then you just take care of business with two more. I think this team is focused. They know what they want and they’re on a mission.”

This mission, to win a regular season championship, presents one more challenge for the Bobcats. Texas State will host the South Alabama Jaguars on Sunday for the final match of the season.

The Jaguars are currently 7-1 in Sun Belt play and only three points behind in the standings. Texas State has locked in the second place spot. A win will put the one-seed out of reach with South Alabama having one more game remaining after Sunday.

Sunday’s match is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. inside the Bobcat Soccer Complex.

“Well South Alabama is a phenomenal team,” Conner said. “So we’re going to have our work cut out for us. We’ll watch film (Saturday) and we’ll start planning for them. We had to get by Troy first. We know they’re a very good team so we’ll start planning tonight. But it’s just going to be a little bit of the same. Just do what makes (the Bobcats) great - we ask them to compete every day, we ask them to play with passion every day and I think that’s what you’re seeing.”

San Marcos Daily Record

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