Back in the MiX
The UH soccer team has not finished over .500 since 1999 and has not made the
conference tournament since 2002. Things didn't look too optimistic coming into 2005, after
a disastrous 2004 season in which the Cougars finished 5-14, 2-8. However as 2005 rolled
around the feeling was different as the Cougars added two huge pieces to their squad, junior
Sophia Mundy, a transfer from Portland State, and freshman Courtney Gaines. Houston
welcomed 13 newcomers into the program, and started six freshmen throughout the season.
Adding members to any team can always question a team's chemistry, but UH needed some
rattling of the cages after 2004.
"[It's] extremely hard, to have a winning season with 13 new kids" head coach Bill
Solberg said. "It's almost a brand new team. The way we jelled together for an entire season,
I'm extremely proud. Wouldn't trade it for the worldr
The Cougars lost two of their first three games, against Baylor, Grambling State and
Texas Christian, respectively. After a hard fought 1-0 win against Sam Houston State, UH ran
off wins in their next five of six, not losing a contest outscoring their opponents 28-4,
including three shutouts just for show and two thrashings against Texas Southern and
Nicholls State, disposing them both 10-0. Houston charged into conference play with a 52-1
after a 10-day layoff against Marshall. Yet, the toughest part of the schedule was in line after
Marshall. Houston had only one road match this season up to that point, falling to Baylor 1-0
in the season opener. UH had five of the next eight games on the road and was up against
hard GUSA foes, which included East Carolina, Southern Methodist, Texas-El Paso, Southern
Mississippi and Central Florida.
Houston's last win was against Tulane on Senior Day, in honor of the two seniors
Kristin Bay and Pucek. Houston needed a win to stay in contention for a GUSA tournament
berth. Mundy and junior Jennifer Dry provided the fireworks and UH prevailed 2-1, giving
both Pucek and Bay closure and a win on the last day they would play on Robertson Stadium.
In November, the eight seeded Cougars found themselves in somewhat of foreign
territory, in the GUSA tournament. Before the tournament could get underway, two members
of the squad fell onto the lime light. Mundy was named to the first team All-GUSA, while
Gaines found herself on the GUSA All-Freshmen Team. UH went into the conference
tournament facing a familiar foe, UCF, who they matched up against just three days earlier.
Unfortunately, the Cougars fell to the Golden Knights once more. A day later, junior Sarah
Fisher was honored by ESPN the Magazine, by earning an Academic All-American honors.
"We had a pretty good season, a winning season',' Mundy said. "We accomplished
most of our goals on a game to game basis, so I was very happy about that and we got to the
conference tournament which was a big goal of ours?
The Cougars (8-73, 3-42) took a great step in the right direction in 2005 and will be
returning two of their biggest offensive. 0?
Story by Jong Lee