Tuesday, October 23, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 44


C-USA playoffs at stake as season winds down

Inside the Lines

Laura Repp

"Inside the Lines" is a look from within the world of the Lady Cougar soccer team. Each week Laura Repp gives her thoughts on the week that was, game preparations, weekly routines and life as a student athlete. Today, she talks about the team's focus as it prepares to make a run for the Conference USA Tournament.

Lin Pim/The Daily Cougar

Senior midfielder Kara Bullinger gets set to blast a pass to her teammate during first half action against Memphis on Friday. Bullinger scored both goals in the Cougars' 2-1 victory.

Friday was a home game for the Lady Cougar soccer team. There were a lot of things running though our minds before we took the field against Memphis.

It really feels as though the win over Saint Louis gave the season a new start. There have been some down periods, but overall, our team has really jelled. More
importantly, the one thing I see in our team that I hadn't seen earlier in the year is that we're bonding.

This team's always bonded, but this year, it feels as though there are no class distinctions. There are no seniors, no freshmen; just teammates. That attitude extends to
the play on the field.

As I've said before, this is my senior year. There could be a chance my collegiate soccer career could be over after Nov. 2. But I believe the Conference USA
Tournament will extend my career another week or so. It will happen.

It'll soon be time to book flights for the tournament in Milwaukee, Wis. The top eight out of 14 teams get to compete. Right now we're sitting in ninth place. Southern
Miss, Tulane and Texas Christian are the final conference teams left on our schedule.

All of that wouldn't have mattered if we'd looked past Memphis.

Scouting the Lady Tigers was fairly simple. There wasn't that much to it, other than we knew it would be a bloodbath. We knew they would come out hard. They've been
known to throw punches.

Then again, what could be a better setting to play in? Well, at least for me, anyway. I love playing against rough teams.

So our game plan was to win the game. The team needed to stay focused on keeping cool, calm and collected. We needed to battle hard, but keep our tempers under
wraps. We did.

It was clear we were the better team. We played a better game and our plan was more effective. Our firm placement passes allowed us to create options.

But Memphis just played a lot of "boom ball," meaning its team kicked the ball everywhere. We played good offense throughout the game, but we weren't able to get
into the net until the second half.

Senior midfielder Kara Bullinger scored both goals. The first was a brilliant shot in the net. The second was the one I really loved. She followed up a cross and the
goalkeeper was coming out for it. Bullinger put her body on the line when she dove to head the cross while the keeper crashed into her. That effort paid off as it put us
up, 2-0.

We made one small mistake toward the end of the game that let Memphis cut the deficit in half, but we still came out with the 2-1 win.

We're on the right track towards the C-USA Tournament. We have a stretch of three consecutive home games. We'll play a non-conference game against Southwest
Texas State at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

We'll then have two conference games over the weekend. We play Southern Miss at 7 p.m. Friday and Tulane at 1 p.m. Sunday. The Green Wave will be our senior
game. It'll be the last time I ever get to play on our beautiful soccer field.

Everyone should tell their friends to come out and watch us battle all week. The support we got from the crowd against Memphis was amazing. It felt good to know other
students were behind us.

Come out and watch our last home games of the season. We need you.

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