The Roadrunners came into the weekend with a mere six points, just two points above bottom-dweller UAB, and without a win away from home in nearly two months.
UTSA @ UTEP – Friday, Oct. 14
The first match of the weekend saw the Roadrunners travel to El Paso for a match-up against a UTEP squad that was coming off back-to-back home losses to the two other C-USA Texas teams, North Texas and Rice.
The Miners jumped out to an early lead in the 6th minute, but UTSA leveled the score in the 37th with a stunning free kick by freshman Marianne Hernandez that went off the bottom of the crossbar and in.
The score remained level at halftime, but not for long as UTSA’s Katieann Lochte rifled a shot past the keeper from about 30 yards out to take the lead in the 49th minute.
The Roadrunners lead did not last, however, as UTEP scored twice more in the 61st and 74th minute, handing UTSA their fourth loss of league play by a final score of 3-2, a scoreline that has become far too familiar for the struggling Roadrunner defense in recent weeks.
UTSA @ UAB – Sunday, Oct. 16
Looking for their first road win in C-USA play, UTSA traveled to Birmingham to take on UAB, who came into the game with a league-worst 1-5-1 record.
UTSA took the lead in the 20th minute after a corner kick was loose in the box and buried home by senior Brianna Livecchi, her team-leading 4th goal in conference play. The Roadrunners added to their lead in the 65th minute as sophomore Melissa Finley crossed a ball into the box that was mishandled by the UAB keeper and tapped in by freshman Camrynne Hoover.
UAB rallied late and scored a goal in the 83rd minute, but the Roadrunner defense held strong and closed out the game, 2-1, to notch their first road win since August 21.
The win over UAB was the seventh win of the season for UTSA, matching the team’s win total from the past two seasons combined, and the team’s best total since leaving the Southland Conference in 2011.
2011 was also the last time that the Roadrunners competed in postseason play, losing in the second round of the Southland Conference tournament to Stephen F. Austin. But this 2016 squad is looking to reset the clock and qualify for their first ever Conference USA tournament with three games left to play.
2016 Conference USA Tournament
This year’s C-USA women’s soccer tournament will be held in Charlotte from November 2-6, and include the league’s top eight teams based on points earned in conference play.
Here’s how things currently stand in the conference, with UTSA’s remaining opponents in orange, and UTSA falling just below the tournament cutoff due to Lousiana Tech and Old Dominion’s game in hand over the Roadrunners:
School W L T Pts WKU 6 2 0 18 Charlotte 5 1 1 16 Florida Atlantic 5 2 1 16 North Texas 5 1 0 15 Rice 5 2 0 15 UTEP 4 3 0 12 Louisiana Tech 3 3 0 9 Old Dominion 3 3 0 9 ---------------------------- UTSA 3 4 0 9 Marshall 2 4 2 8 Middle Tennessee 2 6 0 6 FIU 1 4 2 5 Southern Miss 1 5 1 4 UAB 1 6 1 4
The Roadrunners will face an early test on Thursday as they travel to Bowling Green to take on league-leading Western Kentucky, a team with only one home loss this year, falling to LSU on September 8 by a score of 1-0.
UTSA returns home for the final two matches of the season, hosting FIU on Sunday, October 23 and Louisiana Tech on Friday, October 28. FIU has only scored four goals in seven conference matches this year, so UTSA’s defense should be able to hold on and earn the victory.
With three points the likely result of our next two matches, and Louisiana Tech also sitting at nine points, the match against the Bulldogs is looking to be the match that decides who makes the tournament and who is left on the outside looking in.
It should be an exciting couple of weeks as UTSA concludes its best season in the post-Southland era, and you can follow all the action here on RowdyReport.com or by following us on Twitter @RowdyReport.