DENTON, Texas (September 4, 2010) - The No. 13 Rollins women's soccer team opened their 2010 season with a challenge, taking on a resilient No. 6 West Texas A&M University squad on Saturday evening on the campus of Texas Woman's University. The Tars hit a roadblock against the Lady Buffs, dropping by a score of 3-0 in their first ever matchup with WTAMU. Rollins starts the season with a mark of 0-1, while the Lady Buffs open their 2010 slate with a record of 1-0.
The Tars battled out a tough first half that saw the Lady Buffs score twice, including a last ditch effort goal with nine seconds left before the break. Junior forward Becky Hewson put the first tally on the scoreboard for the Lady Buffs in the 42nd minute off of a corner kick from the left side, and assisted on the second as she put a through ball up the right side to freshman Samantha Cameron with seconds before the half.
"We are disappointed in our first half performance, and definitely didn't play to our capabilities," said head coach Patrick Baker. "Giving up the second goal with nine seconds left before the half was a tough pill to swallow - one of those big five moments you preach as a coach."
The Tars trailed in shots after the first half 7-3, and were not given a corner kick opportunity with the Lady Buffs finding two.
"We weren't sharp the first 45 minutes," Baker added. "We give WTAMU full credit for scoring off of two set pieces."
Rollins recollected at the half and came out as a completely different squad. The Tars used the final 45 minutes to turn up the heat and get back to their customary levels of play.
"I thought we came out after the half and gave a better showing of ourselves," Baker continued. "We defended with desire, were better in possession, and really started to take the game to them."
The Tars played hard in the second period, with steady pressure in West Texas A&M's defensive half as they out-shot the Lady Buffs 6-2, and had two corner opportunities. However a break-away play at the midfield line allowed WTAMU's Kendal Kitchens an opportunity to strike a lofty ball from 22 yards out over the head of Rollins freshman goalkeeper Shelby Kesic to put the Lady Buffs up 3-0 in the 77nd minute.
"After 30 minutes of steady pressure in their defensive half it was heartbreaking to seem them break-out and score on their first shot of the second half," said Baker. "It was a deflating moment; we were close to scoring our first goal, and it was tough to look up and suddenly see us down 3-0."
Despite the opening game performance, the Tars are not going to let the day's performance affect the long season ahead. With a challenging schedule ahead, Rollins looks forward to using the drawback to their advantage.
"We are a talented team that can accomplish a number of great things this year," concludes Baker. "The performance and intensity we had in the second half is something we need to replicate on Monday. West Texas A&M is a Top 10 team, and they were better than us today. But we can't focus on what has been done. We need to learn from the game, both individually and collectively, and move forward. "
The Tars will regroup and prepare for Monday, September 6, when they take on Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas. Kickoff is slated for 2:00 p.m. (EST). Fans of Rollins women's soccer will be able to catch all of the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.