In the second leg of their season-concluding road stretch, the WT Women were defeated by the Cardinals of Incarnate Word 3-0 on Friday before sweeping the season series against the Angelo State Rambelles 2-1 in San Angelo on Sunday. The split still enables the Lady Buffs to capture the regular season championship.
On Friday, UIW’s Sydney Solomon knocked in three scores off of breakaways for the Cardinals, as Sarah Johnson recorded two assists and Katie Miller provided another. Despite being unable to score against Incarnate Word, junior goalkeeper Yvette Bedoy recorded five saves for the Lady Buffs.
“This weekend didn’t quite turn out the way we wanted with the Friday night game, but we were still able to clinch the bye for the conference tournament with today’s win,” senior striker Leslie Briggs said. “It’s nice to know the worst we can do is second place. Now whether we are co-champions depends on Incarnate. We are starting to get to the fun games where it’s do or die. So you can say I’m excited as well as the team is for the road ahead.”
The loss on Friday didn’t deter the Lady Buffs, as the ladies regrouped against the Rambelles on Sunday afternoon. Angelo State struck first with a Hanna Horeis score and an assist by Maggie Schaffer. However, Briggs would answer in kind with an equalizer from an assist from freshman defender Bailey Day and the go-ahead goal as freshman midfielder Haley Girard was given the assist to power to the Lady Buffs to victory. With those two scores, Briggs retains the conference lead for shots, points, and goals while maintaining her top ten NCAA Division II ranking in total goals.
“I thought the weekend was good,” senior defender Julia Greif said. “Even though we lost Friday, we didn’t let it affect our play on Sunday. Friday was a physical and tough game. We knew they would come out and play us hard because we are number one. Sunday was a well-fought game since we came from behind and caught up. That showed character by the whole team. This weekend definitely put us in a good mindset because we know what we need to do in order to win a conference championship and we are capable of it.”
With the weekend split, the Lady Buffs march forward and collect a first-round bye in the conference tournament with a 9-4 Lone Star Conference record and 10-6-1 overall. Incarnate Word, with a Sunday victory over Eastern New Mexico, improves to 9-6 in the LSC and collects a 9-4 conference record. Angelo State stumbles to 9-7-1 overall and 7-5-1 in the LSC tally. Despite being swept by UIW, the Lady Buffs could potentially host the conference tournament at The Pitch if WT can defeat Eastern New Mexico on Oct. 26 and a home loss by UIW to Angelo State. Should both WT and UIW win out, the conference tournament would be held in San Antonio in early November.