Hi 73 / Lo 64
|Volume 68, Issue 45,
Monday, October 28, 2002
Cougars win defensive battle
Cougar Sports Staff
Entering the weekend in a three-way tie for seventh place in Conference USA, the UH soccer team needed a win over one of its league rivals. And after Fridayis game against Tulane was postponed and later canceled because of inclement weather, the Cougars needed to out-claw the Memphis Tigers to stay in the hunt for a berth in the conference tournament.
The team got that with a 1-0 win in Memphis, Tenn., on Sunday. The Cougars improved to 7-7-2 and 3-3-2 in C-USA still in a tie for seventh place. Memphis dropped to No. 9. The top eight teams in the league advance to the C-USA Tournament Nov. 6 in Charlotte, N.C. Despite being out-shot 12-9, the Cougars continued playing strong defense as they kept the Tigers out of the net. Neither team could capitalize on what scoring chances were available. After 83 minutes, it seemed UH was headed for another overtime — and possibly another conference tie.
Sophomore midfielder Nikki Hawkins scored the Cougarsi lone goal during a 1-0 win against the Memphis Tigers on Sunday.
But sophomore midfielder Nikki Hawkins scored on Memphis goalkeeper Katarina Wicksell. Wicksell had not allowed a goal in four consecutive matches against C-USA opponents. Hawkins leads the Cougars with six goals this season. The defense held up the rest of the match, with UH freshman goalkeeper Erin Ferguson making two saves on the night, including a crucial save of a header from senior Memphis defender Becca Amrozowicz.
"We came out and played well in the first half, but just came out flat after the break," Memphis head coach Brooks Monaghan said. "(Houston) came out rearing to go after the break and that was the difference in the game. That is why they won the game."
No make up date for the canceled Tulane match has been announced. The Cougars are scheduled to conclude the regular season against Texas Christian at Robertson Stadium on Friday.
That final match could be the most important of the season, as the Cougars will probably need to win to remain one of the top eight teams in the conference. Despite the loss, the Tigers (now 8-8-1, 4-5 in C-USA) are still in the hunt and could jump ahead of the Cougars with a win over Tulane and a UH loss Friday.
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