Lion soccer team wins first game but loses second in Lone Star Conference Tournament

DJ Spencer, Sports Editor

The Texas A&M University-Commerce Lion soccer team competed in the Lone Star Conference Tournament after the regular season concluded. 

To begin the tournament, the Lions hosted the Oklahoma Christian University Eagles for the division quarterfinal round. The Lions opened the game by pressuring the Eagles which forced two saves within the first five minutes. Both teams missed out on numerous scoring opportunities with the first half ending scoreless.

The score would change quickly at the beginning of the second half as Katie Givens scored the first goal in the 46th minute.

Two minutes later, Leslie Campuzano scored her fifth goal of the season, extending the Lions’ lead to 2-0.

In the 75th minute, Skylar Sorrell added another goal for the Lions for a 3-0 advantage. The Eagles were unable to score, with the Lions continuing their lead.

Goalkeeper Jen Peters recorded a shutout and the Lions outshot the Eagles 18 to two while also allowing no shots on goal. 

This was the first time the Lions won an LSC Tournament game since the 2016 season when they defeated the Angelo State Rams 1-0.

Head coach Neil Piper stated he was nervous after the first half, but that the team’s offensive performance in the second half made him feel better.

“Once they scored the first goal, it relieved a lot of stress,” Piper said.

Three days later, the Lions traveled to Canyon to take on the West Texas A&M Buffaloes, a team that had defeated them earlier in the season, at the Pitch.

Sharon Shaw, a team supporter, stated she was looking forward to this matchup.

“I was hoping for an exciting game,” Shaw said.

Shots were difficult with the wind blowing hard in the Texas Panhandle so the first half ended scoreless.

The Buffaloes outshot the Lions 15-7 during the half. The Lions’ best chance to score came during the 32nd minute when Campuzano and Cora Welch each narrowly missed the goal. 

During the second half, the Buffaloes would break the game open in the 48th minute by scoring on a direct free kick. WT would add three more goals during the game while the Lions were unable to score, resulting in a 4-0 victory for the Buffaloes.

WT outshot A&M-Commerce 30-13 and also had a 19-4 shots on goal advantage when the game ended. 

During the game, Peters tied the school record for most saves in a game with 15, joining Tiffany Wilcox, who set the record during the 2001 season.

This is the eighth consecutive year that the Lions have qualified for the LSC Tournament.

The Lions will end the season with an overall record of 4-3 and will be looking to improve their record next season. They will also look to push further into the Lone Star Conference Tournament.