The women’s soccer team will play another tough opponent at 5 p.m. Friday against Wayland Baptist University.
The Wildcats will face the Pioneers on foreign soil at Hardin-Simmons, but will still be considered the home team.
“We’ve been working, identifying our weaknesses and fine-tuning our strengths,” said Madison Brown, senior midfielder. “With everyone’s effort and focus, we should have a great game on Friday.”
ACU enters the game at 0-2, as the offense has struggled after being shut out in both games. The Wildcat defense has been keeping the team in games with help from sophomore goalkeeper Sydney Newton. Newton leads the Southland in saves with a record of 16 saves in the first two games. She has been under tremendous pressure, though, having faced 28 shots in the first two contests.
The ‘Cats look to get a non-conference win against the much smaller NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) school, but Wayland comes off a solid 13-6-1 season last year, and owned a 7-3 conference record. The Pioneers will look to build on those successes and hope to knock off the much larger program at ACU.
Wayland ended its first match of the year in a 1-1 tie with the University of the Southwest at Hilliard Field. The team finished last year with the most successful season in program history.
ACU’s first two losses have been tough seeing that they lost both by a single goal. The Wildcats lost to Tulsa 1-0 and to UTEP in overtime by the same score. The losses were tough to handle, but the ACU team showed the kind of talent its program has.
For a team that was just a Div. II program two years ago to only lose by a single goal against formidable Div. I schools is an accomplishment. The two losses have benefitted the team as they look to improve against a lower division opponent in Wayland.
“At this point, after the games we had this weekend, we are mainly focused on playing our game better,” said Casey Wilson, head coach. “We need to get ourselves in position to attack more effectively.”