Soccer Turns Game Around for 3-0 Win

Ricky Moser, Sports Editor

After an hour long lightning delay Friday night, the Texas A&M University-Commerce soccer team defeated Harding University 3-0 in front of a home crowd.

The Harding University Bison, located in Searcy, Ark. entered the game 3-1 while A&M- Commerce had a record of 2-2.

Early on in the game, both offenses got deep into opposing team territory and had good shots on goal. A&M-Commerce sophomore goalkeeper Caitlin Duty stopped two threatening shots in the early minutes, one of which had to be scooped up off the ground, and the second forcing Duty to jump and extend both her arms above her head to make the save. She finished with five saves to help the team get its first shutout.

One player for Harding, junior forward Rachel Bacon, continued to find gaps in the defense for the Bison and seemed to be the biggest threat to A&M-Commerce in the first half.

The score would remain 0-0 going into halftime.

“[Bacon] is getting the ball because we’re not defending well off the set pieces on the throw in’s so we’ll just take care of that so she won’t get the ball again,” A&M-Commerce Head Soccer Coach Neil Piper said. “I’m thrilled to be tied. I actually thought they were the better team in the first half. We’re not playing up to our capabilities, so I’m disappointed in that but I’m happy it’s still tied because I thought we were outplayed that first half.”

Sophomore defender Delaney Benselmeyer got the scoring started for A&M-Commerce in the second half courtesy of an assist from Sophie Haywood. Haywood’s corner kick from the keeper’s right was delivered in front of the goalie box where Benselmeyer then knocked it in the back of the net to put the first point on the board and A&M-Commerce never looked back.

Less than two minutes after the first goal, A&M-Commerce scored again on Anitra Wright’s laser shot from near the edge of the penalty box that was placed into the upper corner of the goal on the far side.

The Lions would continue to have great scoring opportunities off set pieces throughout the night.

With seven minutes left in the game, Wright was tackled in the penalty box by her defender in what was a physical matchup all night. Senior forward Savannah Grasser took the penalty kick as a result of the foul and scored the third and final goal to seal the team’s victory.

The team will try to win its third straight home game Friday night as they begin Lone Star Conference play against Eastern New Mexico.