Ladyjacks Look for Fourth Straight Win
Sept. 7, 2005
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - When the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack soccer team takes on Rice Friday, the Ladyjacks will be looking for their fourth consecutive win. According to head coach Jaime Frias, if they hope to make it four straight wins, they'll have to do something they haven't done in their previous three wins.
"Against quality opponents like Rice and U of H, you have to put together a good game, instead of a good half," Frias said. "I thought we played a good game against Texas A&M. Since then, we've been winning by playing good halves."
SFA fell to A&M, which is nationally ranked, in its season opener. In the three matches since, the Ladyjacks (3-1-0) have posted wins over Baylor, Arkansas-Little Rock and Arkansas State.
This weekend, SFA will play two matches in Houston. The first, on Friday, is scheduled for 7 p.m. against Rice. Sunday, the Ladyjacks will meet Houston in a 5 p.m. match.
The Owls bring a 3-1-0 mark to their meeting with SFA. Rice is coming off a 4-0 win over Texas State. The Owls have outscored their opponents, 19-4, and three of their players have scored three or more goals. Houston is 1-2 with losses coming against Baylor and Texas Christian. The Cougars host Sam Houston Friday.
"Both teams, Rice in particular, are going to be very athletic," Frias said. "Both are well-coached and are going to come out well-organized."
Looking Back: The Ladyjacks are coming off a successful road trip to Jonesboro, Ark. SFA won both its games in Arkansas State's Lady Indian Invitational to capture the tournament championship. The Ladyjacks rolled past Arkansas-Little Rock, 5-0, and defeated Arkansas State, 2-1.
Frias said he is happy with his team's progression to this point.
"We're a different team than we were when we scrimmaged SMU, or even for our opening weekend," the coach said.
Looking Ahead: SFA will hold its first home match of the season next weekend when the Ladyjacks welcome Louisiana Tech, The Citadel and Texas State to the Ladyjack Soccer Classic. The Citadel and Texas State will kick things off with the early match Friday. The Ladyjacks will take the field at 7 p.m. against Louisiana Tech.
Frias and his team are looking forward to the home stand, after opening the season with six straight road matches.
"I think the girls are ready to play in front of their home crowd," Frias said. "The environment at SFA is, I think, one of the best soccer environments in our conference."
Players of the Week: SFA swept the Southland Conference Aeropostale Soccer Student Athlete of the Week awards for Week 2. Senior defender Kim Gray and senior goalkeeper Natascia Michalezki earned defensive player of the week and goalkeeper of the week, respectively, for the second week in a row. Junior forward Shahin Pabani was named offensive player of the week.
Ladyjack Leaders: Pabani moved into the team lead in goals scored and points last weekend. She netted three goals, including two against Arkansas State, giving her six points for the season. Freshman Amanda Lackey and sophomore Kristel Lindsey are next with two goals apiece.
Michalezki has been in net for all but 15 minutes of SFA's first four matches. She has allowed four goals (1.04 goals against average) and recorded 20 saves to give her two shutouts and a 3-1-0 record.
-- SFA --