Women’s soccer will play two home games during homecoming weekend starting Friday.
The Wildcats will take on Northwestern State Friday afternoon at a rare noon time, and will take on Southland Conference leader Stephen F. Austin at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Shotwell Stadium.
“Northwestern is definitely on the forefront of our minds right now as we need to make sure we take care of business before we take on Stephen F.,” said Casey Wilson, head coach. “We can’t start looking ahead to SFA and then let Northwestern come in here and steal one.”
Northwestern sits at the bottom of the conference with an 0-4 conference record, while the Lumberjacks are an undefeated 4-0 in conference and boast an 8-2-1 overall record. ACU currently owns a 6-6-1 overall record, with that lone tie coming against Central Arkansas when the Wildcats battled to come back twice but were unable to get the win in a double-overtime thriller.
Stephen F. Austin has dominated its opponents so far this season. The Lumberjacks are among the top leaders in the conference in most of the offensive categories, averaging 2.45 goals per game, 6.64 points per game and lead the Southland with just nine goals allowed through 11 games.
“They run a pretty sophisticated offense, and they like to change their look a lot on the offensive and even defensive end so they can be hard to keep up with,” Wilson said. “There are very well coached, very good athletes on that team, so it’ll be fun to see what happens.”
Assuming ACU wins against Northwestern and SFA takes care of business against McNeese -who is 2-3 in conference – on the road in Louisiana, the matchup Sunday afternoon would feature the first and second place teams in the conference.
“In this game, you can’t focus on just the standings,” Wilson said. “You can’t assume any game is an automatic win. We have to go out there and play a good Northwestern team and then prepare for an elite team in SFA.”
Last season, the Wildcats pulled out a slim 1-0 win over Northwestern on the road in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The lone goal came off a kick from then freshman Natalie Throneberry in the 63rd minute to give ACU the win.
ACU was shut out last year against SFA in Nacogdoches, 2-0. The goals came in the seventh and 57th minutes, as ACU was unable to hold the Lumberjacks’ attack or put together their own offensive attack.
“We’re a team that does not quit,” said Katie Stivers, senior midfielder from Mansfield. “We have fought from behind so many times this year and it’s only made us better. We’ll definitely want some revenge against SFA, but we have to focus on Northwestern first.”