BEAUMONT – Sam Houston State jumped ahead of Lamar but the Cardinals responded with three unanswered goals to claim the match, 3-1, on Friday night at the LU Soccer Complex.
Taylor Pritchard logged the lone Bearkat goal, putting Sam Houston up 1-0 in the 32nd minute. In the net, Anna Kaiser finished with 10 saves. Sam Houston (4-6-0, 1-3-0 Southland) was consistently on the defensive as Lamar (8-3-1, 3-1-0) racked up 27 shots including 13 on goal alongside eight corners.
The Bearkats continue their three-match road trip on Sunday, visiting McNeese for a 1 p.m. kickoff. Sam Houston is seeking its ninth win in the last 10 tries against McNeese while looking to avenge its one-goal defeat a season ago to the Cowgirls in Huntsville.
Sam Houston staved off seven-straight shots from Lamar, beginning in the 22nd minute and responded with one big-time effort of its own. Pritchard found the back of the net in the 32nd minute, firing in a shot over the head of Cardinals’ goalkeeper Lauren Lovejoy to give the Kats a 1-0 lead.
The goal was the second of the season and career for the sophomore and marked the first in league play. Pritchard, who has started all four conference games, last netter came Aug. 31 at SMU.
Despite facing 10 shots, Kaiser needed just a pair of saves. The Cardinals would get on the board in the 38th minute after Sam Houston was called for a foul in the box resulting in a penalty kick. Lamar capitalized as M.J. Eckart scored her first goal of the season to tie the match at 1-1.
After some early opportunities for the Cardinals, the home squad finally was able to take advantage. In the 53rd minute, Juliana Ocampo used a pass from Madison Ledet, getting just enough on the ball from the long shot. It marked her third goal of the season.
Lamar continued creating opportunities and lengthened its lead as Brittany Harris broke through the defense, scoring on a one-on-one chance in the 73rd minute. Her first goal of the season extended Lamar’s advantage to 3-1.
Head coach Tom Brown on the road defeat…
“I thought we absorbed a lot of pressure from them early on. We handled that and had a good counter attack to set up the goal from Taylor. After that point, we didn’t compete as hard as they did. They did a good job pressing us all over the field. They got to balls that were free first.”
Head coach Tom Brown on the offensive output from the Cardinals...
“I thought they did a good job with their wide players running at us and putting us under pressure. That was tough for Ellie (Chapple) to go for 90 minutes. We split time with Jess and Whit on the other side. I think it was difficult with the two freshmen center backs having to read things and react to things they aren’t used to seeing on the collegiate level. We think in the long run, Riley and Bailey will be great players for us here. They had a little learning experience tonight.”
Head coach Tom Brown on maintaining focus after two-straight losses…
“I let them know I think we are at a little crossroads where we are. We have to have a better output on Sunday. I think as things begin to go wrong with us not really having a strong vocal leader on the field, players tend to play how they want to and get away from the team’s plan. It makes it difficult.”