|Thursday, November 5, 1998||
Volume 64, Issue 53
On the Front 'Ro'
|Cougar soccer loses
D. Ryan Monceaux
DALLAS -- Wait 'til next year.
That's the message for the Cougar soccer team, which fell 3-0 to the Cincinnati Bearcats on Wednesday afternoon in the first round of the Conference USA Championships.
Inexperience played a key role in Houston's loss, but benefited UC, the two-time defending C-USA champs.
"We got beat by a team who has done this before," coach Chris Huston said. "Their experience was key for them."
The Cougars came out as cold as the Dallas air, allowing UC to score twice in the first 20 minutes of play. The Bearcats had seven shots in the first half, knocking two of them home.
Less than eight minutes into the game, Cincinnati forward Beth Paderi blasted a shot at Cougar goalkeeper Michelle Denommé, who in turn made a diving stop. However, UC's Suzanne Paulette was waiting to rebound the shot into an empty goal to take an early 1-0 lead.
"She grabbed a quick rebound and got it past me. There was really nothing the defense could do at that point," Denommé said.
Only 10 minutes later, Cincinnati scored again, this time off a putback after a corner kick. UC's Tina Matlock was credited with the goal, giving her 34 points for this season. Earlier in the week, Matlock was chosen for First Team All C-USA as she was ranked first in the conference in goals (16) and second in points.
For the final 19 minutes of the half, Houston stepped up its defensive play to keep the game within reach.
"It was real emotional. We tried to give ourselves opportunities. We did everything we could to get back in it," senior Lisa Duffus said. Duffus ended the match with three shots on goal, but could not convert on any of them.
The second half began for Houston just as the first half had ended -- a hard fought defensive struggle. The only action during the majority of the second half was the four yellow cards and single red card the Bearcats received.
UC goalie Christy Hoffman was redcarded as she intentionally stepped out of the goal area and stopped a shot with her hands. The ejection gave the Cougars a one-man advantage for the final 17 minutes of the game, a break on which UH could not capitalize.
With just over three minutes left in the game, Bearcat forward Amy Rodeheffer added another goal on a one-on-one with Denommé.
"We got beat by a better team on a better day," Huston said. "We never quit, we never gave up. We didn't play badly, they just played great."
Houston's overall record falls to 11-8 as UC jumps to 10-9-1. Cincinnati also remains undefeated in C-USA Tournament play, boasting a 6-0-1 record in three seasons.
The loss ends the hopes of a potential invitation to the NCAA Tournament for the Coogs. But the hope for the future did not die in Dallas.
"We have proven we can win. We had 12 freshmen, and next year we will
be like Cincinnati," Denommé said. "We now have experience, and
we beat everybody's expectations. We walked into this tournament with class,
and we definitely walked out with class."
Reach Monceaux at