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Courtesy: GoBearkats.com
Edenstrom's stunner puts Kats through to semis
Courtesy: GoBearkats.com
Release: 11/03/2011
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Emily Edenstrom scored Sam Houston's quickest second half goal in the nine years of the program's history to break a scoreless tie Thursday night in the first round of the Southland Conference post-season soccer tournament.

The goal gave the sixth-seeded Bearkats a 1-0 upset win over third-seeded Lamar and advanced Sam Houston to Friday's semi-final match with No. 2 seed Texas State.

"I think that goal at the start of the second half gave us quite a bit of lift," said head coach Tom Brown. "I think defensively we were able to do better as the game went on. I think when the pressure got higher in the second half and we were trying to protect our lead we did better at that."

Sam Houston (9-11-1) will be making its third Southland tournament semifinal appearance. All three have come at Demon Field in Natchitoches, La. The Kats defeated No. 1 seed Stephen F. Austin to reach the Southland finals in 2005 and knocked off UTSA 2-1 in overtime in 2009 before falling to Texas State in the semis.

Playing into a gusting wind, the Bearkats took the second half kickoff and get the ball on the ground as the Sam Houston offense worked the ball down the side line . After the kickoff by Kayla Anderson, Kirby Zak found an open Edenstrom who found the net inside the far post for her fifth goal of the year.

"It was important to score early," Edenstrom said. "We didn't start the game the way we should have. We just weren't connecting, so to come out early and get the goal in the second half was big for us."

In the meantime, the Bearkat defense smothered Lamar's offensive chances to post the team's seventh shutout of the season. Goalkeeper Michelle McCollough was credited with three saves.

Sam Houston totaled 12 shots while Lamar had 11. The defeat avenged a 1-0 overtime loss to the Cardinals on Oct. 14 in Beaumont.

Anderson came close to scoring for Sam Houston twice on long free kicks just outside the top of the arc in the first half. One free kick sailed just wide of the right post and Lamar goalkeeper Jennifer Gibbs made a diving save on the second.

Kimmy Albeno missed on Lamar's best scoring chance in the second half as McCullough had slipped down to the tournament. Albeno missed wide at the far post.

Sam Houston lost to Texas State 1-0 in regulation on September 30 in the two team's regular season meeting in San Marcos.

"I think within our team, we believe in ourselves and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks," Brown said. "We are playing against a good Texas State team and that will be tough tomorrow."

Friday's semi-final will kick off at 4:30 p.m. The tournament finals will be played Sunday afternoon.

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