The No. 8 Wildcat soccer team improved upon its best start in program history this weekend, posting two shutouts against Eastern New Mexico and West Texas A&M.
The Wildcats (7-0-1) defeated Eastern New Mexico 3-0 Friday afternoon in Portales, N.M. before beating conference rival West Texas A&M 2-0 Sunday afternoon in Canyon.
“This was an important weekend for us. We really needed to come out and play well, and we did that,” Head Coach Casey Wilson said. “I was very impressed with our performance in both games.”
The team is riding its longest consecutive match unbeaten streak since October 2010 at 13 matches.
The Wildcats scored all three of its goals in the second half against the Zias. The team’s last two goals were scored a mere three minutes apart from each other.
“We really put the game away well against Eastern,” Wilson said. “It’s a big momentum builder scoring goals closely together like that, so that was good for our team.”
All-American Andrea Carpenter struck first for the Wildcats in the 49th minute off an assist from Jacey Ferrera. The goal, kicked in from the left side, was her fifth of the year.
Freshman Megan Turner scored her first collegiate goal off a pass from sophomore Ashley Craig that made it a 2-0 game in the 83rd minute.
Less than three minutes later, junior Ashley Holton finished off a Madison Brown throw-in from the top of the 18-yard box. The goal for Holton, an all-American, was her second on the year.
The ACU defense stood out once again, allowing only six shots with one reaching senior goalkeeper Elliott London.
On Sunday, the Wildcats posted its third-straight shutout in a 2-0 win against rival West Texas A&M. TheyÂ have not allowed a goal in 303 minutes and 10 seconds of playÂ since their game against Incarnate Word on Sept. 16.
“That really is a testament to our defense,” Wilson said. “They are really clicking right now and doing a great job with applying pressure and staying alert.”
London received full credit for the shutout, and made two saves on only four shots.
Holton struck first for the Wildcats in the 26th minute, her third of the year off an assist by Whitley Lindholm, and Ashley Craig followed suite in the 84th minute on a long-distance strike off a Carpenter cross. The goal was Craig’s first of the year andÂ made her the tenth ACUÂ player to scoreÂ during the season.
“Depth is something we really are doing well with and pride ourselves on,” Wilson said. “We have so many different weapons and I am glad so many people are contributing.”
Junior Julie Coppedge said the whole team contributed to the winning streak.
“There is not one girl on our team that can’t hurt you,” Coppedge said. “We work really well as a team together and all of our players are versatile.”
Coppedge said the Wildcats threw the opposing defenses a curveball by setting several players in positions that were unusual for them.
“There’s lots of scouting that goes on, so Casey switched things up a little bit to throw them off,” she said. “I think it worked well.”
The Wildcats will return to action at 4 p.m. Friday whenÂ they host Texas Woman’sÂ University.