The soccer team opened up conference play this weekend with exciting games against Sam Houston State and Houston Baptist.
The Wildcats took the first game against the Bearkats in Huntsville after scoring two second-half goals for the 3-2 win. Then, a scoreless game against the Huskies that went into overtime did not favor the Wildcats, as HBU was able to find the back of the net in extra time to take a 1-0 victory over ACU.
The Wildcats started off Southland Conference play against Sam Houston State Friday night. The teams headed into halftime tied at one goal each. Tiffany Ysassi, senior defender from Las Vegas, tied the game for the Wildcats after an assist by Chantal Kinsey, freshman defender from Allen, putting ACU on the board.
“Our team is learning to finally come together and play for each other,” Ysassi said. “We are turning to each other both mentally and physically, so determination and hard work definitely led to the win.”
In the second half, ACU scored in the 48th minute and again the 75th minute, putting them up by two. Chloe Fifer, freshman midfielder from McKinney, scored off a cross-field pass from Natalie Throneberry, sophomore forward from McKinney. Baylee Mitchell, freshman forward from Flower Mound, scored her fifth goal of the season later in the half, giving the Wildcats a secure lead.
“I think the biggest factor that led to our win was the hard work and effort we gave on the field,” Mitchell said. “Everyone was working for each other the whole game, and we also finished the chances we had in front of the goal.”
Sam Houston would make things interesting down the stretch, however, finding the back of the net in the 82nd minute on a brilliant solo effort by Shelby McDaniel, cutting the lead to one. SHSU would receive a number of chances late in the game to tie, but the Wildcats’ defense held strong to secure the team’s first conference win of the year.
Sunday afternoon, the Wildcats traveled to Houston to face HBU. The game would head into overtime as neither team was able to crack the scoreboard. In the 95th minute, the Huskies broke the lead on a penalty kick goal to go ahead and held the ‘Cats for the win.
Kelsey Dombrowski, sophomore goal keeper from Fort Worth, followed up her seven-save effort against Sam Houston with a career high 10 saves against HBU. She faced 10 shots on goal and 20 shots overall as her effort was crucial in keeping ACU in the game.
ACU sits at 4-6 on the year with a 1-1 conference record. The Wildcats will play Nicholls State at noon Friday at Shotwell Stadium.