By ZACK GLOSSER
The Tigers finished off fourth week with two big games, simultaneously preparing for their conference tournament. Unfortunately, four key players are currently injured and were not able to play in the games last week. Despite this challenge, the Tigers’ performance against Southwestern last Friday was excellent.
The Tigers were able to create plenty of clear-cut goal-scoring opportunities, certainly deserving the 2-0 win. Their defense was outstanding all game, and they limited Southwestern to just one shot on goal.
After an injury to sophomore Aidan Longhurst, freshman John Schuler and sophomore Josh Raizner rose to the occasion and made crucial plays to help the Tigers keep their lead. Southwestern was very physical, receiving several yellow cards. Seniors Tim Huettel and Sam Markin scored the Tigers’ two goals, and senior Theo Hooker had a great save, recording his ninth shutout of the season and the 34th of his career. With his two assists, senior Cam Stopforth took over the team lead with six assists for the season.
On Sunday of Block Break, the Tigers tied against Texas Lutheran. According to Head Coach Scott Palguta, the Tigers were hoping to win at home, especially because there was a sizable crowd for Senior Day. “We hoped to send our seniors off in style,” Palguta said. “And we will certainly need to be better this weekend when we face regionally-ranked University of Dallas and UMHB.”
The Tigers are 10-3-4 overall, 8-3-2 in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, and are locked into a third-place seed. They now face an imposing task of winning three games in three days at the conference championship to secure a spot in the NCAA tournament. When asked about the uphill battle ahead, Coach Palguta said the following: “Our goal for the conference tournament is quite simple: win it. We know we have a tough task ahead of us, but the staff truly believes we have the players to get the job done.”
The Tigers play The University of Dallas on Friday, followed by the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor to end their regular season games on Sunday.