CORPUS CHRISTI – It was a night of many first for the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi women's soccer team. It was the inaugural match at the Dr. Jack Dugan Family Soccer & Track Stadium and Alyssa Miller made history as the first Islander to score a goal. However, the Islanders (0-1-0) came up just short on this historic night, falling to Houston (1-0-0) 2-1 in front of 1,187 fans in attendance.
"It was a great atmosphere and the support from the community was amazing," head coach Shanna Caldwell said. "I was very pleased with the overall fight and effort of the team. It was a great way to start our season and build on from here."
The night started with the grand opening ceremony to celebrate this inaugural match played in the approximately $8.8 million facility. Several distinguished guests who were integral in the process of adding soccer at the Island University. A&M – Corpus Christi President and CEO Dr. Flavius Killebrew and Dr. Jack Dugan spoke prior to the match. Also taking part in the ceremony were Athletic Director Scott Lazenby and Southland Conference Commissioner Tom Burnett.
After the festivities commenced, the 2013 Islanders Soccer season was officially underway. However, it was not until the 14th minute of the game that the back of the net was found. Coming off of a set piece, a cross into the box off the foot of Alexis Weaver found the head of Kylie Cook to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead early on.
In the 22nd minute Aulona Velaj hit one from about 25 yards out for the Islanders' first shot on goal for the match. The second shot would be just as memorable though, as Miller received a pass from Yvette Franco and let one go from just outside of the 18-yard box and found the back left corner of the goal to score the first goal in the history of Islanders Soccer in the 32nd minute. The teams would head into the half knotted at one, with the Islanders outshooting Houston 4-3.
In the second half the Cougars regained their lead, as in the 71st minute Jasmine Martinez found a streaking Kayla Walker who sped past the final Islanders defender, putting the ball just out of the reach of a diving Audrey Baldwin.
Just minutes later, Walker broke free of the defense and got the ball past a sprawling Baldwin once again, but this time the ball rang off the crossbar keeping the opportunity for an A&M – Corpus Christ comeback alive. However, the Islanders could not break free of the Cougars stifling defense, resulting in Houston picking up the victory in the first game played at Dugan Stadium.
The Islanders will return to Dugan Stadium on Friday, Aug. 30, when it hosts the Islanders Soccer Classic. First up for the Islanders is Dallas Baptist University at 4:30 p.m.
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