The No. 2 ACU women’s soccer team has emphasized the importance of creating opportunities this season.
Creating opportunities to score goals, begin offensive attacks with crisp passing and sound communication has been at the forefront of the team’s mind.
If the team continues to play at this pace, it will be creating an opportunity to prolong its season in the Lone Star Conference the national tournament as well.
That opportunity was heightened last weekend, as the Wildcats won both of their scheduled games, beating Incarnate Word 2-0 Friday and Angelo State in comeback fashion 2-1 Sunday.
“Our goal as a team every game is to create opportunities for players to excel and take advantage of,” head coach Casey Wilson said. “The more opportunities we create, the greater our chances of coming through are.”
The wins improve ACU’s record to 13-0-1 and 9-0-1 in LSC play, which is the best in the program’s history and tops in the conference and region standings currently.
Friday, Incarnate Word played host to the ‘Cats in San Antonio, and ACU was looking to avenge the lone stain on their record, which was caused by the Cardinals.
The team did just that, as it beat UIW 2-0. Sophomore Whitley Lindholm and junior Krysta Grimm scored for the Wildcats, and goalkeeper Elliott London made five saves in the effort.
This win marked the ‘Cats’ eighth straight win since its tie with the Cardinals on Sept. 16.
“This was a game where our girls definitely wanted to come out on top,” Wilson said.
Lindholm scored her third of the year in the 61st minute off a cross from senior Lyndsey Womack, and Grimm scored hers in the 80th minute off a pass from Ashley Holton.
Despite being outshot 9-8, the Wildcat defense claimed its eighth shutout of the year.
“We knew we were going to have to hit Incarnate Word with different angles of attack instead of pounding in from the middle or the back,” Wilson said. “We did that well in the second half.”
Sunday, a pair of late goals from Holton coupled with a season-high 11 saves from London equaled the prolonging of ACU’s winning steak in a 2-1 win over Angelo State.
The streak – alive at nine matches – seemed to be in jeopardy, but the No. 2 Wildcats came back in comeback fashion.
“”Angelo State always presents a challenge to our team whenever we play them. They play very physically and do a great job preparing. Games like these are a testament to both teams.”
Angelo State’s Lauren Carenes scored the game’s first goal in the tenth minute following a loose ball in the goalmouth.
That was the game’s lone offensive action until Holton scored the equalizing goal in the 72nd minute off a pass from junior defender Lexi Stirling.
“I was in the back, and I saw Ashley running free, so I just tried to kick it as hard as I could, and it landed at the feet of Holton, and she put it in,” Stirling said. “It was really a freak thing, I’m just glad it turned out like it did.”
Holton then secured the win in the overtime period with a kick in the 100th minute, as she gained control of a loose ball from goalkeeper Danielle Edwards with a mere 15 seconds remaining in the first overtime period.
London’s save percentage jumped to .913 as a result of the match, and ASU’s goalkeeper Morgan Harrison had four saves.
“Our mentality is not we need to score, but we need to create opportunities to capitalize on,” Wilson said. “When you have a team with as many talented players as we do, all it takes it time.”