The No. 4 ACU women’s soccer team persevered against an abundance of second-half shots in holding on to a 1-0 win over Midwestern State Wednesday afternoon at the Wildcat Soccer Pitch.
The win kept the Wildcats’ unbeaten streak in tact at 16 matches, which dates back to last season, and marked the conference season’s halfway point. ACU will play all seven LSC schools once again starting with Friday’s 4 p.m. home match vs. Eastern New Mexico
“It feels good to make it through the first round of conference play unscathed,” Head Coach Casey Wilson said. “We have done some great things so far this season, and our record reflects that.”
The Wildcats’ defense shined Wednesday, as they were outshot 10-3 in the second half and 13-11 for the match by the Zias’ offense.
Senior goalkeeper Elliott London withstood the Zia’s attempts, though, and completed the shutout with four saves en route to her third shutout of the season.
“Elliott continues to be a solid rock in goal for us,” Wilson said. “She plays consistently well and we a re definitely reaping the benefits of her play as a team.”
A steady 20-mile per hour breeze was present throughout the game, and it played in favor to both defenses. Less than 50 percent of the shots taken were on frame.
Sophomore forward Andrea Carpenter scored the lone goal in the game, and it came in the 20th minute of the match. The goal marked her 10th of the season, and she has now scored a goal in seven games on the season and three straight to this point.
The Mustang defense had been solid prior to Carpenter’s goal, but the all-American finished off a scoring drive that was mapped to perfection.
The Wildcats (10-0-1, 6-0-1) connected on several passes up the middle of the field prior to Carpenter finishing off the progression with a goal on a cross from senior Lyndsey Womack.
“My goal could not have been set up any better. There was textbook progression down the field and Lyndsey sent the perfect ball to me,” Carpenter said. “It was one of the more natural goals I’ve scored this season because everyone contributed to making it happen. Without Lyndsey’s spot-on pass, I could not have been able to score. She is the one who did the work on that.
Making the most of that opportunity was critical for the Wildcats as chances to score following that goal were few and far between.
“We didn’t create as many chances offensively today as we’ve had in other games, but the positive thing is that the goal that we scored was a very nice, clean goal that included a crisp pass and a great finish,” Wilson said.
Wilson added the importance of winning games in different fashions as well.
“Sometimes it’s nice to score a goal with less opportunities than we’ve had in the past, so that’s a good way to win too,” he said.
Midwestern (5-3-2, 3-1) was on the offensive for the last 10 minutes of play, as the team fired five shots and one corner kick.
“Today I learned that our team is capable of winning any type of game and that we can handle anything that is thrown our way,” Carpenter said.
Wilson echoed Carpenter and said that the win provided confirmation for his team.
“Tonight we confirmed we’re consistently competitive and that the girls know what they want,” he said. “Even on a bad day, we have enough competitiveness to make up for any downfalls or obstacles we come up against.”
ACU will host Eastern New Mexico Friday at 4 p.m. and West Texas A&M Sunday at 1 p.m.
Seniors Ashley Holton, Lyndsey Womack, and Elliott London will be honored prior to the game.