The UTSA Roadrunners come to town on Friday and are so far winless this year after 4 games. However, any team starting off the season 0-4 must be considered dangerous because of the extra motivation to get the first win. Losses so far this season have come against UC Irvine, Fresno State, SMU, and Baylor. - They lost to UC Irvine by only one goal, and UC Irvine is currently ranked #14 in the nation.
This will be UTSA’s last season in the Southland Conference. Next year they’ll move to the WAC. Last year the Roadrunners made it their first ever NCAA Tournament where they got shellacked in the first round by Portland, but to be fair, the Longhorns also lost in the first round last year.
Players to watch for UTSA:
#7 Maria Jose Rojas at the forward position. She was the leading scorer for the Roadrunners last year as a freshman and is already at the top in points this year (along with #17 Liv Nyhegn) after four games. Maria Jose scored the only goal for UTSA last weekend in their loss against Baylor.
Maria Jose Rojas played for the Chilean National Team at the Algarve Cup in Portugal this past March. (The Algarve Cup is one of the most prestigious annual international women’s tournaments in the world. Only the Women’s World Cup and the Olympics, both played every four years, would rank higher.) The Chilean women’s team has never qualified for a World Cup tournament, but they did make the Algarve Cup this year for the first time in their nation’s history. Chile finished 11th out of 12 teams, just beating Romania in a penalty shoot-out for the 11th place position. [- The United States won the Algarve Cup, beating Iceland in the final 4-2, on goals from Carli Lloyd, Lauren Cheney, Heather O’Reilly, and Alex Morgan.]
# 5 Laylla da Cruz at the midfield position. Laylla, who is from Brazil, was the second highest leading scorer for the Roadrunners. She's an offensive threat and not to be trifled with. Last year she had 5 goals and 5 assists.
#8 Anka Grotle, of Norway, at the defender position. Anka is the top defender for the Roadrunners. She’s also quite an offensive threat, scoring 4 goals last year and registering 4 assists.
In the preview I wrote for the first game of the season, the game against LMU, I highlighted Tawni Martino as the top offensive threat against the Longhorns for that game. As it turns out, Tawni scored the equalizer for LMU in the 70th minute and LMU went on to win big time. - I am still having nightmares about Tawni Martino! Terrible nightmares!
Although I don’t think UTSA has a Tawni Martino onboard to hurt us like that in this game, we’ve got to make sure that we don’t give up a goal around the 70th minute. It’s the 70th minute mark where we seem to be at our most vulnerable. But the best thing that the Horns have accomplished since the LMU game is to take a 2 goal (or greater) lead into the locker room at half time. I really hope we can continue doing this. That cushion goal is a nice thing to have when the surge comes from the other side with 20 minutes left to play.
GAME TIME: 7:00pm
Friday, September 2, 2011
Mike Myers Stadium, Austin, Texas
Live tweets from the game at @LonghornSoccer