The Wildcats head to Stephenville to take on Tarleton for the start of the Western Athletic Conference play.
Last season, ACU went 4-5-1 in conference play for the first time participating in the WAC. Tarleton is a new competitor for the Wildcats in the WAC, having no previous meetings in history.
“I think we’re in a pretty good minset going into our first conference game,” head coach Casey Wilson said. “This is where we wanted to be and this is what we have been talking about all during training camp and is everthing we have been gearing up for to start conference.”
Going into this matchup, the Wildcats enter with a season record of 4-2-1, including this past weekend sweep of Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern.
The Wildcats have been pushing their offense from the very start. As a team, ACU has tallied 15 goals with 51 out of 99 shots going on goal. Chayse Thorn, sophomore from Rowlett, leads ACU in offense with four goals, clearing her 3 goal 2021 season total only seven games in.
ACU’s defense has also been strong between two goalkeepers Lily Foster, redshirt sophomore from Coeur d Alene, Idaho, and Lili Ross, freshman from Beaumont. Foster has recorded 15 saves and only allowing five goals, giving her the security of two wins. Yet, Ross, having only five career games, has tallied 15 saves and has only allowed two goals, leading to her gaining two wins. Between the two, they have held down opponents from scoring shots on goal to 45.9%.
“I guess in conference its just sometimes more of a sense of urgency,” Wilson said. “Maybe I don’t know whether theres more passion that goes into those games but I’d say definitely the last three games we played have been extremely physical and so like I said we’ve had to learn to endure that.”
Tarleton heads into this meeting with the same season record of 4-2-1, including a recent sweep of UT Permian Basin and a loss against Louisiana Monroe.
The Texans hold a similar offense as the Wildcats with a .511 shots on goal percentage and doubles their opponents goals, 18-9. Mila Bettinelli leads Tarleton with three goals and a .500 shots on goal percentage. In a recent matchup againts UT Permian Basin, Bettinelli recorded a goal and an assist, giving her the lead of the team with seven points.
Tarleton has a solid defense that attacks the same as their offense. They have totaled 13 saves from their opponents 22 shots on goal attempts. Mikayla Kendall has made 11 saves and allowed eight goals in her seven games played.
“I think we are in a good spot on shaping all four facets of our game going into this next weekend,” Wilson said.
With this being Tarleton’s program’s first WAC appearence, the competition is staked high to who will start conference play with agressive offense.
The Wildcats head on the road to take on Tarleton Sunday at 1 p.m. in Stephenville, streaming on ESPN+.