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Punishing first half pushes UTSA past Texas A&M-Commerce

SAN ANTONIO – The UTSA soccer team (4-2-1) came out firing on all cylinders in Thursday night’s Military Appreciation matchup with Texas A&M-Commerce (1-5-1) at the Park West Athletics Complex, commanding the momentum to a 4-1 victory on the strength of first-half goals by Alex Granville (2’), Olivia Alvarez, (3’) and Sabrina Hillyer (17’).

Setting up their eighth consecutive home victory, the Roadrunners swiftly went on the attack and put the Lions on their heels immediately, emerging from the opening three minutes with a 2-0 advantage. After taking away a throw-in at midfield in the second minute, the Roadrunners charged to the attacking third, set by Hillyer’s long lead ahead to Alissa Stewart, who found Granville cutting to the goal box for the opening score with 2:07 on the clock – netting her inaugural goal of the 2023 season.

After the Lions took down Sarina Russ in the box, Alvarez drew goalkeeper Sophia Dean away on the penalty kick and fired a score to the back of the net just 69 seconds behind the initial goal for her first of the year.

In the 16th minute, Russ rocketed a shot to the right side of the goal, but Dean was able to make the stop. She wasn’t so fortunate the next time around, as Maci Geltmeier and Avery Chaney put Hillyer in position alongside the penalty arc to drive a shot into the left side of the net for her second 2023 score and a 3-0 advantage at 17’.

It was icing on the cake in the 39th minute with a fourth UTSA goal tacked on the board, as Jordyn Hyland’s corner kick found a pair of Commerce touches and resulted in an own goal.

The Lions evaded the shutout in the second half, slowing the Roadrunner attack and using an indirect free kick at penalty distance to trim the deficit on Kaydence Ramirez’ score in the 61st minute.

After leading the shot differential 9-3 at the half, UTSA finished with a 15-5 advantage, helped along by a 9-2 lean on corners. The Roadrunners registered seven shots on target from seven different players.

Making her first career start in net, freshman Jasmine Kessler logged one save on the night.

Dating back to the 2021 season, the Roadrunners have racked up a 16-2-4 record at Park West for a stunning 81.8 winning percentage at home. Tonight’s victory marks eight straight dating back to September 2022.


UTSA: Alex Granville (2’), Olivia Alvarez (3’), Sabrina Hillyer (39’)
TAMUC: Kaydence Ramirez (61’)

Quoting Coach
Derek Pittman
"It’s very nice to be home. Happy with the mentality our players came out with at the beginning of the game. I thought we started extremely aggressive and we did exactly what we wanted to do, getting the ball wide and creating chances. I’m happy they kept their foot on the gas the entire first half, but disappointed we didn’t maintain that energy and enthusiasm in the second half. Like I’ve said before, we need to learn these lessons in these wins, so we can carry it on into our next games when the opponents continue to get tougher.”

UP NEXT: The Roadrunners head to East Texas to kick off a three-game road swing, getting started in Nacogdoches with Stephen F. Austin on Sunday. The Jacks dropped their fifth consecutive outing on a 7-0 loss at 17th-ranked Texas in Auston. Next week, UTSA opens American Athletic Conference play at Tulsa and then travels to Baylor to close out the week.

- UTSA -