San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

November 11th, 2008
Texas State to open NCAA soccer tourney at Texas A&M Friday

STAFF REPORT

Having established its dominance in the Southland Conference, the Texas State women’s soccer team will try its hand against the elite of college soccer in the NCAA Tournament.

The Bobcats learned Monday night that they are headed for the North Carolina Regional, with a twist. The first two rounds in their bracket are being played at Texas A&M, meaning the Bobcats can play reasonably close to home. Indeed, they will open against Texas A&M Friday at 7 p.m. Preceding that game, Washington will play Louisiana State at 5 p.m. The winners will meet Sunday for the right to advance to Chapel Hill for the regional finals.

“I am very excited that we get the chance to play so close to home,” Texas State coach Kat Conner said. “It allows our fans to travel and give support when we’re playing in an unfamiliar environment. We encourage everyone to come out and support this team and their accomplishments so far.”

Texas State will enter the weekend sporting its 13-3-4 overall record this season and posted a 7-0-2 league record. After taking back-to-back wins at the Southland Conference Tournament, the Bobcats recorded their first-ever undefeated SLC season and earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

Texas State is in its fourth NCAA Tournament, all in the last ten years, having previously qualified 1999, 2001 and 2004.

“We are so excited to be back in the NCAA tournament,” said Conner. “The last time we were here was in 2004 and to get to this point with such a young team is a great accomplishment. This is what college is all about and having a young team that is eager to just go out and play is phenomenal.”

The Bobcats won the Southland Conference Tournament at McNeese State with a 2-1 championship game win against the hosts. Lauren Lewis headed in the game winner at 54:03 to break a 1-1 tie.

Texas State took a 1-0 lead six minutes into the game when Rikki Padia scored off an assist from Kelsey Bernard. The Cowboys tied it at the end of the first half on a goal by Kamryn Koch.

The Bobcats won their tournament opener and semifinal game 1-0, against Southeastern Louisiana on a goal by Lewis.

Five Texas State players made the All-SLC Tournament team, including Lewis as Most Valuable Player. Goaltender Mandi Mawyer also made the team, as did defensive stalwarts Jessica Elting, Christina Racanelli and Anna Fagan.

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