The Wildcats ended their regular season with a 1-0 win, adding to a four game winning streak, over the Cardinals of the University of Incarnate Word.
The game remained scoreless until the last three minutes, when sophomore Christina Arteaga received a combined pass from junior Samantha Vestal and senior Dylan Owens in the box. The sophomore took advantage of the left side and nailed the ball in past the UIW goalkeeper. It was her eighth goal of the season and her fourth in the last three games.
ACU led in shot attempts 12-8 in the first half and 12-3 in the second half. Arteaga had five total shots, senior Sophie Standifer had four, and Vestal and Owens each had three.
Arteaga is thrilled when she scores and is glad she can help her team out.
“It feels so great to be able to produce goals for my team,” Arteaga said. “It just reassures me that all my hard work in the off season is paying off.”
The cardinals had 11 shot attempts the entire game, nine of them being on frame. Redshirt junior Rachel Johnson had another phenomenal night, with a total of nine saves for her right shutout of the season.
This will be ACU’s 12th shutout of the year, continuing to lead the league in many defensive categories.
The team honored six seniors before kick off. Johnson, Owens, Standifer, Caity Acosta, Chelsea Reedy and Hannah O’Donnell were all recognized in front of their families and friends and capped off their final season with a 7-1-1 home record.
This is the Wildcats’ second time going into the conference tournament.
“Even though we qualified the last six years in a row, we are extremely excited to be able to compete for a chance in the NCAA tournament and break even more of our records,” Arteaga said.
ACU (12-5-1, 7-3-1 Southland) finishes in fifth place in the league standings after Friday night and will head to Beaumont, Texas for the tournament. The Wildcats will rematch the fourth seed McNeese Cowgirls on Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 2 p.m.