Friday, September 17, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 19

Cougar Comics Online
UH opens C-USA play with 3-1 win over USF

Sports Opinion

About the Cougar

UH soccer to face familiar faces in familiar situation

Women's Soccer

By Josh Gajewski
Daily Cougar Staff 

One thing's for sure -- the UH soccer team hopes history can repeat itself when it opens conference play.

Last season, the Cougars dropped their first five games to open the season, then had to face Marquette, a Conference USA power and the 23rd-ranked team in the nation. UH went up to Wisconsin and pulled off an upset victory for the program's first-ever win.

Their next challenge was DePaul, also an away game, and the Cougars were victorious once again, winning the game 2-0. They went on to win seven straight after that, redeeming their record and finishing with a very impressive 8-3 conference record, 11-8 overall.

This year, the Cougars find themselves in the hole once again as they are just 1-5 heading into conference action. Who are the opponents this weekend? You guessed it: DePaul and Marquette. Only this year, the Cougars won't have to go up north to face them, with both games in Houston over the weekend.

"We're hoping for the same thing this year," said head coach Chris Huston. "We've had some tough nonconference play that I think helps us to get prepared."

Chris Huston

On Friday, UH squares off against DePaul at Meyer Park as part of the 1999 College Classic. The Blue Demons are coming off their first win of the season, a 1-0 thriller over Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Freshman Christy Young netted a goal from 10 yards away with just one second left on the clock, giving DePaul its first win of the season (compared to three losses). Senior goalkeeper Kelly Kaiser has been impressive, saving 45 shots in the team's first three games, the best mark in the nation.

On Sunday, UH returns home to the newly renovated O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium to face Marquette, the preseason favorite to win the conference. Midfielder Lanette Rossini was the conference's offensive player of the week last week, netting her first collegiate hat trick as part of an 8-0 rout of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Midfielder Kelly Roethe leads the team after being named the 1997 C-USA Player of the Year and the 1999 preseason favorite. Marquette lost last year's conference championship game in overtime, losing 5-4 on penalty kicks to UNC-Charlotte. The Golden Eagles face Saint Louis on Friday before coming to Houston.

"Every game is tough," said Huston. "Marquette will be very strong, obviously. They're always in the top 25 and will definitely be a challenge."

Defender Laura Repp suffered a sprained ankle during practice on Tuesday and is questionable for today's game. She sat out Thursday in hopes of returning for the conference opener. Luckily for Houston, the rest of the team has been relatively injury-free thus far.

"The girls are ready to come out and start winning," Huston said. "Everyone is positive, and we hope to go out there and play the best we can and win."

The similarities heading into today's game are almost eerie when compared to last year. The teams are the same, UH's record is nearly identical and the team's objective has definitely not changed. Nothing would help the Cougars forget about their sluggish start more than conference success.

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