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Bobcats Escape DFW 2-0

Bookmark and Share Printer Friendly Feb. 9, 2016

Lemmon TCUIn the season opening road trip to the Dallas Metro area, the Texas State Bobcats came home with a 2-0 record to begin their 2016 season.

Like last season, the 2016 campaign began with a strong showing from the rookie class. In 2015, freshman Aaron Kuntz scored two goals in the season opener against SMU. Saturday, two of the first three goals were scored by rookies Jacob “Shifty” Martin and Alex Gaskill. Gaskill finished his MCLA debut with two goals. Freshman defensive midfielder Cameron Juntti found pay dirt as well in transition with one goal. Six different rookies recorded a point in the first two games.

“For us to be successful this season, we’ll need our rookies to play significant roles all over the field,” Head Coach Kyle Saunders said. “Luckily, they were able to contribute this weekend and were huge parts of both of our wins.”

In a scrappy game, the Bobcats entered halftime against UNT leading 3-1. The Bobcats came out of halftime and outscored the Mean Green 8-3 in the second half. 2015 Honorable Mention All-American midfielder Bucky Desadier led the Bobcats with three goals against the Mean Green.

Junior goalie AJ Anderson picked up the 2016 season right where he left off in 2015. Anderson posted 18 saves in the Bobcats 8-5 loss to the National Championship runner up, Colorado Buffs, and followed that performance with a 14-save, .778 save percentage outing against North Texas.

On Sunday, Texas State finished their road trip with the TCU Horned Frogs. TCU headed into the game against Texas State with a 2-0 record, including an 11-10 overtime win at Texas A&M.

The Horned Frogs came to play. TCU jumped out on Texas State early and took a 6-3 lead at halftime.

Sophomore goalie Dylan Ruffino started the game, made nine saves and posted a .600 save percentage in the first half. In the second half, Anderson stood between the pipes for the Bobcats and made eight saves with a .667 save percentage in the second half.

Despite being down three at halftime, the Bobcats fought back to take the game 11-10. Garrett Ford, sophomore midfielder, scored the game-winning goal with six seconds left in the game. The goal was his second of the game.

Elliot Smith, sophomore midfielder, led the Bobcats with four goals against the Horned Frogs. Smith led all Bobcats with six goals total over the weekend, and leads the team in points (7).

Gaskill contributed two more goals against TCU, giving the freshman four goals total.

Rookies Steven Alexander and Curtis Fellenz stepped up at the face-off X, combining to go 15-for-21 (.714) against the Frogs.

Texas State fought back and took a 10-9 lead late, but TCU would not go away without a fight. The Horned Frogs scored the game-tying goal with 48 seconds remaining in regulation.

On the ensuing faceoff, Fellenz secured the ground ball and gained possession for the Bobcats.

Saunders called a timeout to draw up the final play for his team.

The Bobcats came out of the timeout and executed the play, as Ford scored the game-winning goal with six seconds left in the game. One last desperate heave by the Horned Frogs on the final faceoff of the game was saved by Anderson and Texas State rode home 2-0.

“We went down early against TCU and showed some serious fight to come back and ultimately, win the game,” Saunders said. “That experience will be invaluable as the season progresses. Our guys stayed together and really grounded out a quality win against a very good TCU squad.”

Jake Hamilton, Zane Zoda, Logan McCullough, Josh Edgerly, and Spencer Savoy were all defensive standouts.

“I thought our defense played well for our first outing,” Saunders said. “We got caught ball watching at times, but that’s to be expected this early and I remain confident that we a special group defensively.”

Texas State will play their home opener next against the Tennessee Volunteers Feb. 25 at the West Campus Complex. The Bobcats defeated the Volunteers 14-6 in their last meeting at the Sugar Bowl Classic in New Orleans.

“It’s always nice to ‘get the first ones’,” Saunders said. “This weekend was chalk full of teaching moments. We will teach, hopefully learn, and improve from these two games in preparation for our home opener against Tennessee on Feb. 25. We have a talented group, but we really need to tighten some things up to have continued success.”


Paul Livengood


Sports Reporter







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