The Wildcats took on the University of Incarnate Word Monday for the first round of the Southland Conference Tournament. ACU dominated the match, winning 3-0.
“We played well once we got settled into the game,” said head coach Casey Wilson. “We were able to take over and get the opportunities we needed to get the game out of hand.”
Having just played UIW, ACU started off strong. Sophomore midfielder Natalie Jones was sitting in front of the goal, where senior forward Christina Arteaga crossed a corner kick to her. Jones corralled the ball and put it in the net to bring ACU up 1-0.
“Natalie, she had two opportunist goals where she was able to follow up a drop ball by the goalie,” Wilson said. “Christina did an amazing job setting her up by letting the ball touch through her legs.”
In minute 44, sophomore forward Caylen Wright had control of the ball, where she took her chance and shot a goal from outside the goalie box. This put the Wildcats up 2-0.
Not too long after, Jones was given the chance again and made her second goal of the night. Arteaga along with sophomore forwards Faith Husbenet and Jordan Michie assisted in the goal by setting Jones up.
“Natalie took care of the opportunities she had last night, but Christina had a big part in putting them right where Natalie needed them,” said Wilson.
ACU led in shot attempts 16-14, with 6-3 shots on goal. Jones and Arteaga both lead the team with six goals. Arteaga moved into the No. 1 spot in the history of the Southland Conference in career shot attempts with 310. Senior goalkeeper Erin Smith made three saves, making it her ninth shutout of the season.
“Christina is an amazing player,” said Wilson. “She was first-team all-conference for all four years and is the seventh person to accomplish that in Southland history.”
The Wildcats take on No. 7 seed Sam Houston in the semifinal round Thursday at 7 pm.