SAN MARCOS, Texas – For the first time since joining the Sun Belt Conference, the Texas State soccer team are conference regular season champions following a 1-0 victory at the Bobcat Soccer Complex over Coastal Carolina Sunday afternoon and did so on Senior Day. It is the fifth regular season title for the Bobcats, first since 2009, and the 10th overall conference championship in program history.
TXST concludes the regular season with a 10-5-2 record and went undefeated in the Sun Belt at 8-0-2. The 10-match unbeaten streak is the third longest in program history. It is also the 12th time that the Bobcats have reached double-digit victories in a campaign. Meanwhile, the Chanticleers drop to 7-7-1 overall, 6-3-0 in conference play and will conclude their season with a make-up match on Thursday at home against Arkansas State.
With the win, the Bobcats completed an undefeated season at home with a 4-0-2 mark. It is the second time to record zero losses at home at home with the only other occurrence being in 2001 (9-0-0).
Post match interview with seniors @Jamie_Elle25 & Kelly Barbalias after winning the #SunBeltWSOC regular season championship. Turns out @haleyygroff & @soccersydsyd could be dual sport athletes in fencing #AllForTXST #RiseAbove #NCAASoccer pic.twitter.com/4bjAggZ3bq— 2018 Sun Belt Champions ?? (@TXStateSoccer) October 22, 2018
Over the first 15 minutes of the match, Texas State outshot CCU 4-0 but were unable to put any on frame. The best chance was the opening shot when Jordan Kondikoff sent a long ball into the box. Kaylee Davis was able to flick it past the oncoming goalkeeper but the ball flew wide of the left post.
Davis had the Bobcats' first shot on goal in the 29th minute. A punt from Heather Martin bounced over everybody's heads, including the Chanticleer backline. Davis tried to send in a low shot towards the left corner but CCU's Eva Knapstein made a diving stop and pounced on the loose ball before Davis was able to get to it.
After making some halftime adjustments, Genesis Turman stole a pass and dribbled into the 18-yard box. Her shot would go just over the crossbar 19 seconds into the final 45-minute period. The next five minutes would see Davis and Turman each place a shot on goal but get denied by Knapstein.
The breakthrough for the Bobcats final came in the back half of the 64th minute. Haley Groff battled two defenders near midfield and was able to toe-poke the ball to an open Kondikoff. The junior midfielder followed with a long ball down the left side that Davis was able to run onto. She dribbled into the box, cut inside when a defender stepped to her and then sent the ball into the right side of the netting for the lone score of the match.
The best chance CCU had afterwards came early in the 80th minute. The Chanticleers got two players into the box on the left side with the lone backline player being Gabie Jones. A pass to the right gave Hannah Miller a look on goal but her shot towards the left post was denied by a diving Martin.
CCU took three more shots in the contest with one going high over the crossbar, one was blocked by a TXST defender and the third was easily caught by Martin.
TXStateSoccer) October 22, 2018
Pacing the Bobcats with five shot attempts was Turman. Both Davis and Kondikoff took four shots apiece with Davis placing three on frame. As a team, Texas State outshot Coastal Carolina 20-16 but saw the Chanticleers hold a 7-5 advantage in shots on goal.
For Davis, her goal was the 16th of the season to move her into a tie for second on the program's single-season list with Danielle Holloway's 2004 campaign. The Allen, Texas native ends the regular season matching the Bobcat record for match-winning goals with six. She is also tied for third in points (33), fifth in shots (71) and 10th in shots on goal (33) for a season.
Martin made seven saves on the afternoon to record her seventh shutouts of the season, tied for the third most in a season by a Bobcat and one shy of tying the record. It was also the 13th shutout of the Midlothian, Texas native's career to tie her for third in program history with Caitlyn Rinehart (2012-15).
TXST heads into the Sun Belt Tournament as the No. 1 seed and will face Troy in the first round. Times for all the first round matches will be announced following the conclusion of next Sunday's match between Little Rock and Appalachian State in Boone, North Carolina that kicks at 12 p.m. CT.
For more information on the Texas State soccer team, visit the official website of Texas State Athletics at www.txstatebobcats.com, like on Facebook at Texas State Soccer and follow on Instagram and Twitter at @TxStateSoccer.