SAN ANTONIO – Sam Houston State is headed back to the Southland Conference Tournament.
The Bearkats solidified their berth on Sunday, playing to a 2-2, double-overtime draw against Incarnate Word at Benson Stadium. Sam Houston has tallied 14 points in league action, qualifying for the event courtesy of the team’s two-goal win against Southeastern Louisiana.
Sam Houston has gone five-straight matches without a loss, its longest streak since Oct. 25-Nov. 6, 2015. That year, the last tournament berth, saw the Bearkats advance to the title match for the second time in program history.
Sam Houston got on the board in the 22nd minute Sunday thanks to Taylor Pritchard’s third goal of the season. The sophomore used a pass from Beryl Smith – her first assist of the season – to give the Bearkats the early advantage.
Incarnate Word answered less than five minutes later as Ana Campa struck from 30 yards out but the tie would be short-lived. In the 32nd minute, Smith took a cross pass from Hannah Dupin into the right side, firing in for her seventh goal of the season.
Sam Houston dominated possession against a UIW team attempting to play spoiler after being eliminated from tournament contention but the Cardinals were able to break through in the 64th minute as Brooke Hanson snuck a shot inside the crossbar to tie the match at 2-2.
The Kats recorded 15 shots including seven on goal while the Cardinals finished with 16 including 11 on the net. Sam Houston’s seven corner kicks were its most since Sept. 29 against Lamar and marked the second-most on the season.
Smith led Sam Houston with six shots including three on goal. Goalkeeper Christina Hendershot recorded eight saves for the second-straight match. The junior moved her recorded to 5-5-2 and has not drawn a loss in five-straight matches.
The Kats close out their regular season on Friday, hosting Stephen F. Austin at 6:30 p.m. from Pritchett Field. The match will be Free Food Friday with Pizza Hut serving as the host sponsor and passing out complimentary food while supplies last.
Head coach Tom Brown on qualifying for the Southland Tournament…
“We’ve gone the last couple of weeks without losing and were able to reach our goal of getting into the playoffs. I don’t think we played particularly well today. We have to get back and get regrouped and get the ready for the game Friday.”
Head coach Tom Brown on the 2-2 draw against UIW…
“I think we scored a couple nice goals. It was just disappointing with how much we turned the ball over today. We couldn’t connect passes. There were some simple things. We’ll just continue to move forward and try to get better.”