RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The UTSA soccer team (3-2-1) wrapped up its two-game road swing out west with a nil-nil draw on Sunday afternoon against Cal Baptist (3-1-1) at the CBU Soccer Stadium. A quiet offensive first half led way to a more aggressive Roadrunners outing in the second, but neither team found paydirt in the inaugural 2023 draw for both teams.
Sunday’s matinee proved to be a defensive struggle from the opening minutes, with no shots through the opening 11 minutes of play, with UTSA held from taking a stab until the 22nd minute, when Alissa Stewart was blocked just outside the penalty box.
Physicality of play was also a hallmark of Sunday’s second consecutive matchup with a WAC foe, as the teams went into half with 23 combined fouls on the board and plenty more left uncalled on the pitch – the Lancers and Roadrunners wrapped with 46 total whistles and four yellow cards.
The opening half closed with just five total shots on the board, CBU taking the 3-2 advantage. Making her first start in goal, junior Oregon State transfer Isobel Herrod cleaned up consecutive shots in the 38th minute amid the biggest Lancers’ threat of the half.
Coming out of the break, UTSA picked up the offensive pace, rattling off four additional shots by the 61st minute to quickly triple their attack total – moving beyond an opening half that was more of a scrap in the midfield than a drive to the attacking third. The Roadrunners earned their three best attack opportunities late. Sabrina Hillyer saw her strike from the edge of the box toward the upper left corner nabbed by keeper Noa Schumacher in the 78th minute, then Maci Geltmeier was taken down from behind on a breakaway just outside the goal box with six minutes remaining. Jordan Walker’s final, heavily-covered shot was just too wide in the closing minute, cementing the 0-0 tie.
Avery Chaney and Geltmeier each tabbed a pair of shots each, while Herrod collected three saves on the afternoon. After a 51-49 advantage bent to CBU in the first half, UTSA edged ahead to a 53-47 possession lead in the final stats. After an aggressive second half bumped up their final shot to nine, the Roadrunners spent 54 percent of their total time in the attacking third.
Quoting Coach Derek Pittman
"Today our players showed their true character in a really tough match against a good CBU team. We challenged our players after Thursday to show more grit and toughness in our preparation and performance. They did exactly that and played some really quality soccer today. This team came together and overcame a lot of unexpected adversity today. This result is a massive step forward towards reaching out goals this season."
Back to Park West next week, where the Roadrunners remain undefeated. UTSA will host Texas A&M-Commerce on Thursday at 7 p.m. After defeating American Athletic Conference foe Tulsa, 2-0, in their second game, the Lions have dropped three straight against a tough lineup of North Texas, Louisiana-Monroe and LSU – all on the road. Thursday’s meeting between the Roadrunners and Lions will be Military Appreciate and Youth Camp Reunion Night at the Park West Athletics Complex.
- UTSA -