The Wildcats return home to open up Lone Star Conference play against Midwestern State University on Friday. ACU will host the 25th ranked Mustangs trying to avenge two losses from last season.
The Wildcats enter conference play after a 5-1 start to the season. ACU suffered its first loss last Saturday to 12th ranked Florida Southern University in overtime. The Wildcats rebounded Tuesday, shutting out the University of Texas Permian Basin 3-0.
“We started off slow in the first half and didn’t get a lot shots off,” Coach Casey Wilson said. “We regrouped in the second half and were able to put some goals in. We made progress throughout the game and felt good about the win.”
Three second half goals fueled the Wildcats to a 3-0 victory over the Falcons. Katherine Garner scored her first goal of the season in the 65th minute, with Andrea Carpenter picking up the assist. Julie Coppedge would add the second goal for the Wildcats in the 78th minute. Carpenter would score her seventh goal of the season in the 88th minute to close out the Falcons. Arielle Moncure picked up the fourth Wildcat shutout of the season.
Carpenter leads the offense, having scored at least one goal in every game so far this season. The Wildcats as a team have scored at least two goals in every game, outscoring their opponents 17-4.
“Carpenter has defiantly provided a spark for us. Ashley Holton has also been someone that other teams have had to worry about,” Wilson said. “If one team focuses on one of the girls then the other is open. They have done a great job of providing opportunities for each other.”
ACU’s defense has also played well, limiting goals by preventing its opponents from attempting goal shots. Elliot London and Moncure have been solid at the net and have posted four shutouts for the Wildcats.
“Even though we have had a good start we know conference is going to be tough,” Coppedge said. “We have learned that if you make mistakes late in the game you will lose. We know we can win, but it is going to come down to going out and playing every game.”
With an improved team, ACU is looking to make a statement Friday against the Mustangs. The Wildcats haven’t forgotten that the Mustangs beat them twice last season, including a 2-1 defeat that ended ACU’s season in the LSC Postseason Tournament last year. The Wildcats and Mustangs will kickoff at 4 p.m. at the Wildcat Soccer Pitch.
“We always expect conference play to be tough,” Wilson said. “There is a lot of good talent from top to bottom in this league. It comes down to who comes to play that day.”