Players hope to extend winning home record

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    The soccer team will try to improve its 4-4 record in a pair of matches this week at Garvey-Rosenthal Stadium.Thursday’s and Saturday’s games will be at 7 p.m. against SMU and UT San Antonio.

    Last week, the Horned Frogs extended their home winning streak to two games with a win over Sam Houston State, but fell to the Nebraska Cornhuskers 4-0, Sunday in Lincoln, Neb.

    The focus of practices this week has been on keeping team composure through the course of a match, said head coach Dan Abdalla.

    “We are working on not getting sucked into the game of the other team,” Abdalla said.

    In an interview Monday, Abdalla said he wants to get more out of his goalkeepers, but has no intention of switching up his starters before Thursday’s match.

    Abdalla is looking for a couple of his freshman forwards to rise to the occasion this weekend.

    “I think we need to get a lot out of our strikers Lizzy Karoly and Chelsea White,” Abdalla said.

    In addition to production from the freshman forwards, Abdalla said leadership in defense from senior Breanne Kaldheim and sophomore Sara Schneider will be important in the coming matches.

    Sophomore defender Caroline Starns was a recipient of the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week honor earlier this season.

    Starns said the team is focusing on its own quality of play rather than that of the visiting squads.

    “We are a good team this year and we want to set the pace for what we want to play,” Starns said.

    With emphasis on composure for the matches, Starns said Abdalla has been working on the team’s ability to keep the formation of the midfield line.

    “We are focusing on our confidence and capabilities in the midfield through the back,” Starns said.

    The starting formation for Thursday’s match is not yet known, Starns said.

    “We change it up,” Starns said, “so we’ll see what happens.”

    With a win on Thursday, the Horned Frogs could extend their home winning streak to three games.

    Junior midfielder Lauren Pope is still out with a leg injury, and the details of her MRI have yet to be disclosed, Abdalla said.