Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
SAN MARCOS — Freshman Anka Grotle's fourth goal of
the season coupled with a strong defensive effort gave the No. 3 seed UTSA
women's soccer team a 1-0 win against sixth-seed Lamar in Thursday's first round of the
Southland Conference Tournament.
"Someone asked me who the team to beat this week would be,"
head coach Steve Ballard said. "I told them I was worried only about Lamar and
we're happy to come away with a win today."
Much like their regular season meeting, the Roadrunners
(12-7-1) and Lady Cardinals (5-11-3) went into halftime with no score.
Angie Guillory had a golden opportunity in the 16th minute to give Lamar the lead, but after getting behind the defense, she had a
one-on-one opportunity against sophomore goalie Dacia Webbher. However, her shot went wide left.
The teams combined for just six shots on goal with Webb
recording four saves and Lady Cardinals' keeper Jennifer Gibbs logging two.
After a series of chances in front of the Lamar goal, UTSA
finally broke through in the 82nd minute.
Freshman Valentina Lefort collected a
deflection off a corner kick and found Grotle, whose shot went between a diving
Gibbs and the right post, for the 1-0 advantage.
"I saw everyone rushing toward the goal, so I just hung back
and took a great pass from Valentina," said Grotle, who was a first-team All-Southland
selection on Tuesday. "Luckily, I was able to put it past her (Gibbs)."
Along with providing the offense, the Flora, Norway, native
helped UTSA shut out Lamar for the second time this season and give the
Roadrunners a program-record-tying nine this fall.
"After our game against them, we watched film and saw all the
breakaways and one-on-ones they had against us," Grotle said. "Today, they
didn't have many of those chances and that helped keep the pressure off Dacia."
The Roadrunners' Southland honorable mention goalkeeper totaled
nine saves to help send UTSA to the semifinals.
The Birds improved to 3-4 all-time in the Southland
Tournament and 5-0 against the Lady Cardinals.
UTSA will face No. 2 Stephen F. Austin (13-5-1) for the second time in six days in Friday's first semifinal. The Ladyjacks handed the Roadrunners a 2-0 setback in Sunday's regular season finale. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.