Last season, Tom Brown saw a change in his team. He liked the way they had improved on the defensive side of the field and in the attacking third as well.

In 2017, the Bearkats allowed 35 fewer goals compared to 2016 and more than doubled their goal total from the previous season as well.

As a result, the Bearkats’ improvement showed up in the win column as well, with the Kats improving by six games from the 2016 season, which was the sixth-best turnaround in the NCAA last season.

“The returning players had a real change in mentality and wanted to make a change in the team,” said head coach. “I think that the results show that they did that.  We have continued to build on this during the spring.”

The biggest difference between the two seasons, was the Kats’ play in the opening 45 minutes of the match. In 2016, Sam Houston allowed 40 first-half goals while scoring just 4. Last season, Sam Houston outscored opponents 15-13 in the first half.

The 31 goals scored in 2017 by the Bearkats was the most since the team scored 32 in the 2009 season. 2017 leading goal scorer Carlota Suarez Crespo will return in 2018 after hitting the back of the net 8 times last season. In all, the Bearkats will be returning a total of 23 goals from last season.

The regular season will kick off for the Bearkats on Aug. 16 at home when they take on Utah State with Southland play starting a month later at Central Arkansas on Sept. 14.