ACU played Chicago State Saturday morning, securing the win, 6-1, to bring them to a conference record of 2-1.
Early in the game, coming downfield, Natalie Jones, a junior midfielder from Lubbock, passed the ball to Natalie Wodka, a senior defender from Allen, from the right. Wodka, outside the box, took the opportunity and sunk the ball in the net to give ACU the lead, 1-0.
Wodka says that the team performed well tonight and was proud of what they could do.
“Performance-wise, it definitely has given us a lot of confidence,” Wodka said. “Especially in the offense. Going forward, we definitely needed this game. We came in knowing they were an aggressive team, and as a team, we had a lot of great passes and goals today.”
Not too long after, the Wildcats received a handball penalty in the box, resulting in a penalty kick for Chicago State. The Cougars took the free-kick and slipped it right past Lily Foster, a sophomore goalkeeper from Coeur d Alene, Idaho.
Less than two minutes after ACU received a penalty, Chicago State gained a red-card penalty in the box. Giving ACU the chance to score, Christina Arteaga, a senior forward from Pflugerville, lined up to take the shot. With only one strike from her foot, she nailed the ball into the goal for her first score of the season.
Keeping up the competitive nature of the game, ACU kept pushing. Taylor Denn, a freshman defender from Medford, Oregon, passed the ball downfield to Grace Ornelas, a freshman defender from Weatherford. Seeing the open field, Ornelas passed the ball to Chayse Thorn, a freshman defender from Rowlett, who took the ball down the sideline towards the goal. As Chicago States goalkeeper came out, Thorn was able to put it past her in the net.
The Wildcats went into halftime with the lead, 3-1, and they were not done yet.
Head Coach Casey Wilson says that he is proud of how the team handled themselves with a big lead.
“I was proud,” Wilson said. “I felt good that there were more goals today so giving them that one penalty kick was not terrible. I knew we were going to create enough chances to put it away. So overall, I was proud of the way they responded.”
Fifteen minutes after halftime started, Emily Heidman, a redshirt senior defender from Rowlett, received the ball in the air, putting it in the back of the goal from a header.
Soon after, Caylen Wright, a junior forward from Joshua, received a pass from Thorne up the middle, sending Wright down the center of the box, making a goal.
Not even seven minutes later, once again, Thorne passed the ball to Laura Mauldin, a senior forward from McKinney, sending Mauldin around the defenders straight to the goal. ACU finished the game with a final of 6-1.
The Wildcats head out of town to take on Stephen F. Austin Friday at 7 p.m. in Nacogdoches and Sam Houston Sunday at 1 p.m in Huntsville.