ACU’s soccer team remains undefeated at 2-0-1 after their first weekend competing against University of Texas-Brownsville and University of Texas at El Paso.
Sunday’s matchup against the UTEP Miners was the Wildcats’ first NCAA Div. I opponent for the 2013-2014 season. The game was a defensive battle in two extended time periods tying, 1-1.
Andrea Carpenter, senior All-American, said she was pleased with the way the whole team overcame the adversity of a bigger, stronger and faster team in UTEP, especially on the defensive side.
“I thought we played really well both games, Sunday especially,” Carpenter said. “Our team played with a lot of heart and passion, which I really liked to see; I don’t really care what the outcome of the game is, just as long as you’re leaving it all out on the field and playing your hardest is what matters to me.”
Carpenter hit her century mark in career points this weekend with a beautiful shot past the UTEP keeper, Keighton Allen, in the 58th minute to tie the game, 1-1.
The defense made the difference in the stalemate. Seniors Whitley Lindholm and Brie Buschman held the defensive line, running down balls, making intelligent passes and clearing the ball when necessary.
“I tried to eliminate distractions during the day because UTEP has a notorious record at home,” head coach Casey Wilson said. “The defensive effort was evident, and our keepers made a few saves to help us keep it even late in the game.”
Every Sunday, whether a game is scheduled or not, the team is gathered by Coach Wilson in a devotional time. This week’s devotional was on the topic of not making excuses both on and off the field. Wilson emphasized the importance of being aware of physical size, strength and prowess, but to not make any excuse to play just as big, just as fast and just as strong as the opposing team.
“In the first fifteen minutes of the game, I was just above myself,” Carpenter said. “I have never played a team that physical before; but myself and the rest of the team made adjustments after being on our toes the first half and played an outstanding defensive half.”
Junior Taylor Brown injured the same ankle she injured two seasons ago as a freshman in the first half of Sunday’s game, so the team took up mindset of playing for Brown. She said she was happy to come out of the game and see they were still unbeaten.
The Wildcats leave this weekend for John Brown University, Drury University, Midwestern State University (an old Lone Star Conference rival) and Wayland Baptist University.