UHV women push aside losing streak
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Darby Price has never recorded a goal, or an assist in UHV colors. After Wednesday's soccer match against Our Lady of the Lake, neither statistic changed.
However, the freshman central defender certainly deserves a bit of credit in helping the Jaguars snap a six-game losing streak with a 1-0 victory.
Price nudged Patricia Negrete into the path of the ball on a Jaguars corner kick to score the only goal of the game. The 59th minute goal wasn't pretty, but after the streak UHV has been on this year, few were complaining.
"It was Darby pushing me in, giving me that extra boost to get that ball into the net," Negrete chuckled as she described how she scored her second goal of the season.
Moments before the goal, UHV head coach Adrian Rigby told his team the Jaguars would score on a corner kick if someone put a body in front of Saints goalkeeper Emily Backus.
Negrete said she didn't hear the instruction before Tyler Leal whipped in her corner kick. However, was right in the goal mouth to be the beneficiary of the Price push.
The Saints (8-7-1) have won just one of their last five matches. UHV outshot the visitors, had more corner kicks and maintained the pressure in the visitors half throughout the 90 minutes.
In particular, the combination of Iris Mares and Jackee Murillo on the right wing terrorized Saints defenders throughout the second half. The two freshmen consistently gave the Jaguars (5-9) an attacking option as they looked for a second goal.
"The left wingers were pulling the center backs to the left, so they had more space whenever we switched it," said UHV forward Sheila Akapo. "That's what we've done in practice. We were able to switch the ball and they had more space to run down the field."
In the middle of the field, Rigby's women congested enough passing lanes that Our Lady of the Lake head coach Shane Hurley changed his system three times in the match.
He started with what appeared to be a 4-2-3-1, switched to a 4-4-2 in the first half. With the Saints looking for a tying goal, Hurley moved central defender Sara Coronado to center forward and a played a 3-4-3 system.
"I thought it was a pretty sloppy game," Hurley said. "The UHV girls did a better job of getting the ball down at the right times and playing and we struggled to. The result is as it should have been."
Ten minutes into the game, Hurley and Rigby shared a laugh because the former accidently left his cell phone on the field while he was warming up Backus in goal. Our Lady of the Lake defender Brianna Otis found the rogue smart phone and tossed it aside, before her head coach recovered the device.
In the end, Hurley found his cell phone, but his team wasn't able to find a win heading into a big conference match at Texas-Brownsville this weekend.
"We got tired of our losing streak and we just wanted to get a win," Negrete said. "We were pushing as hard as we could. We were motivated. We just wanted to win."
MEN: UHV 3, OLLU 2 (OT)
Hector Gonzalez emphatically scored his second goal of the afternoon six minutes into overtime to give UHV its first three-match winning streak of the season. The Jaguars (8-7) beat San Antonio-based Our Lady of the Lake University 3-2 to improve to go above .500 for the first time all season.
A hopeful ball was played into the penalty area for UHV forward Stiven Ospina. The Victoria Memorial graduate put a shot on target, but it was saved by Saints goalie Sergio Gonzalez. The goalkeeper's original save went into the path of Gonzalez, whose shot was deflected way. UHV had another crack to end it and Gonzalez put his shot into the roof of the net.
Gonzalez' role for the Jaguars has expanded in the last fortnight, which coincides with the UHV win streak.
Prior to an Oct. 12 match against Midwestern State the Jaguars played with one holding midfielder. Beginning with that 4-1 loss, they have played with two holding midfielders, which gives Gonzalez more influence on the game.
"It allows (Hector) a bit more time on the ball," Rigby said. "He's our decision maker and we play at the pace he decides."
Wednesday's victory was the fourth win in five overtime matches for UHV. Earlier in the match, Ospina tied for the team lead with his sixth goal of the season in the 58th minute.