The lone blemish on the No. 2 ACU women’s soccer team 11-0-1 record was caused by the Cardinals of Incarnate Word on September 16 in a 1-1 tie, and the Wildcats will get a chance at redemption Friday in San Antonio as they square off for the second time.
“This is going to be a big game for us,” sophomore forward Andrea Carpenter said. “We are really going to work hard and make sure that the same result doesn’t happen again against them. We’re using the first game as motivation for this one.”
This match will be the first of five away games for the ‘Cats as the team wraps up their Lone Star Conference schedule.
“These next slate of games are crucial for the continuation of our season,” Head Coach Casey Wilson said. “In order to get to where we want to get, we need to make sure we’re prepared for the tasks at hand.”
Incarnate Word will be the first task at hand for the No.2 Wildcats. The Cardinals (4-4-4) enter the match with a three-game losing streak in which opponents outscored them 8-2.
The Cardinals average 1.42 goals per game, while giving up 1.50 to their opposition. Additionally, they allow 12.7 shots per game while shooting 13.2.
“Incarnate Word was the first team that played the back-heavy defense against us, and it worked well,” Wilson said. “They had a great strategy going into the game and caught us off guard. I expect nothing less from them this time around.”
In the first contest between the two teams, UIW showed a new-look defense in which all but two players were positioned on the Wildcats’ half of the field to prevent breakaways and challenge the ACU forwards constantly.
“It was frustrating because we weren’t expecting it initially, and they executed it well,” Carpenter said. “They constantly challenged me, but we’ll be ready this time.”
Amber Guenther, who is leading the team in goals scored and points, paces the Cardinal offense.
Sarah Johnson and Angelica Carrizales follow suite, as they each have four goals apiece.
Sunday, the Wildcats will take on Angelo State (5-6-2) at 1 p.m.
The Rambelles beat Texas Woman’s 3-1 last weekend and will host Midwestern State Friday prior to ACU on Sunday.
Brandie DeBacker leads the Rambelles with eight goals and 18 points, and poises a challenge for the ACU defense.
“DeBacker is one of the best in the conference,” Wilson said. “She is very dangerous and needs to be accounted for at all times.”
The ACU defense seems to be up to the challenge, though, as it has given opposing offenses fits all season, allowing 0.58 goals per game.
Offensively, ACU ranks 22nd nationally in goals per game (2.58) and Carpenter is ranked eleventh in goals scored (11) and total points (25).
“This weekend, we just need to come out and play our game and focus on being the best team we can be,” Carpenter said. “If we do that, we will have no problems.”