Lions travel to MSU-Texas following win over TWU

Jordan Ader, Staff Reporter

Photo by Joseph Miller

By Jordan Ader | Staff Reporter

The A&M-Commerce Lion Soccer team looks to win two in a row and three of their last four as they travel to Midwestern State today to take on the Mustangs. The game originally was planned to be played at Mustang Park, but due to heavy rains over the weekend, the game will be played at the Mustang Practice Field.

The Lions are coming off a victory in which they held on late to defeat the Pioneers of Texas Women’s University 2-1 at Pioneer Soccer Park in Denton on Oct. 3.

Early in the fifth minute, Lions midfielder Michelle Kotlik battled Pioneer defenders to gain position and score a header assisted by forward Karissa Rulander’s lofted corner kick to give the Lions an early lead.

The Lions took three more shots in the following moments, including a shot by Lion midfielder Cora Welch that was saved by Pioneer goalkeeper Jazmine Maxwell. Following multiple Lion shots, the Pioneers countered a surge of eight consecutive shots. Lion defender Izzy Ward made a sliding save to stop a dangerous chance for Texas Women’s when a stutter-step by Pioneer midfielder Lauren Neely created a shot on an open goal.

In the 30th minute, Ward punted the ball upfield and into the box from the center circle. Lion forward Sabrina Munguia chased it down, and smashed the ball into a wide-open net to give A&M-Commerce a 2-0 lead.

Despite being outshot by Texas Women’s 14-6 the Lions held on to a 2-0 halftime lead.

For the rest of the match, the Lions looked to protect their lead and stifle Texas Women’s attacking opportunities at midfield. Goalkeeper Caitlin Duty was put to the test on two of five Pioneer shots but stood tall, protecting the lead for the Lions.

With less than three minutes left, Texas Women’s was awarded a penalty kick due to an accidental handball by the Lions. Pioneer midfielder Maddi Nolton chipped the ball past Duty and into the right side of the goal to cut the lead in half.

With two minutes left in the match and a 2-1 lead, Duty was forced to make two more saves to protect the lead, including a stop on a long bending shot right before time expired.

Kotlik, who leads the Lions in goals scored, connected on her fourth goal of the year. Munguia’s goal marked her third thus far. Duty saved seven of nine Pioneer shots on goal and was supplemented by Ward’s last-ditch effort to save another shot by the Pioneers. Rulander and Ward each earned their first assists of the season.

A&M-Commerce moves to 5-4 (2-3 LSC) after the win. TWU drops to 5-5-2 and (2-2-2 LSC). The Lions looks to repeat as they face-off against rival Midwestern State University today in Wichita Falls.