Lion soccer team splits final regular season games

DJ Spencer, Sports Editor

Cora Welch moves the ball up the pitch (John Parsons)


Gracie Spradling throws the ball into play (John Parsons)

The Texas A&M University-Commerce Lion soccer team played their final regular-season games March 28 and 31, playing the Dallas Baptist University Patriots and the Midwestern State University Mustangs.

The Lions would lose to the top-ranked Patriots 1-0 during the first game, dropping the Lions to 2-2 for the season.

Prior to the game, the Lions celebrated the careers of Katie Givens, Izzy Ward, and Madison Zick as this would be their last game of the regular season at Lion Soccer Field.

The first half would not see a goal scored as both teams played exceptionally well on defense. Givens, Rylee Robertson, Lauren Shaw and Naomi Sink each narrowly missed shots during this half.

Goalkeeper Jen Peters was able to make four saves during the half. DBU held a 12-5 shot advantage.

The second half was scoreless all the way up to the 83rd minute, when the Patriots managed to score. The Lions would fight hard, even with little time left, to tie the game, but were unsuccessful.

Cora Welch would lead all Lions with four shots on goal, and Peters finished with six saves.

The Lions then traveled to Wichita Falls to take on MSU at Mustang Park for their first and only road game of the regular season, where they would walk away with a 2-1 victory.

Head coach Neil Piper said that the victory over the Mustangs was a great road victory.

“We started off a little slow in the beginning but were able to pick things up near the end of the first half,” Piper said. “The defense put up a great effort as well.”

The Lions would be pressured early, as the Mustangs would take the first shots on goal. Lauren Banning would record four saves in the first 25 minutes of the game before surrendering a goal in the 27th minute, giving the Mustangs a 1-0 lead.

The Lions would then start pressuring MSU in response, tying the score five minutes later after Cora Welch hammered a kick off the crossbar. TAMUC would continue to take shots but were unable to score again before halftime, leaving the score 1-1.

The second half was mostly a defensive battle, as neither team challenged the opposition early on. That would change in the 81st minute, when Welch scored another goal, giving the Lions a 2-1 lead.

The Mustangs would fight hard to tie the game but Banning would make two more saves and the Lion defense intercepted MSU on nearly every pass.

With that, the Lions finished the regular season with overall and conference records of 3-2.

After the game, Sharon Shaw, team supporter, praised the team for their performance.

“Everyone did a great job,” Shaw said.

The team will now focus on the Lone Star Conference tournament. The Lions will host the Oklahoma Christian University Eagles April 3 at 2 p.m. at Lion Soccer Field.