DENTON, Texas — In the end, the Eastern New Mexico University women’s soccer team couldn’t overcome a stunning scoring drought that lasted nearly 460 minutes.
Needing a win or a tie in Sunday’s Lone Star Conference regular-season finale against Texas Woman’s to nail down the first conference-tourney berth in the three-year history of the program, ENMU finally broke through for a score. But the Pioneers claimed the last spot in the tournament — and the first for their program — as sophomore midfielder Romy Luma had a goal and an assist for a 2-1 win.
The six-team tournament begins Thursday at Edmond, Okla., home of LSC regular-season champion Central Oklahoma.
The Zias (10-8-1, 3-5-1 LSC), who scored 28 goals in their first 14 matches but hadn’t scored since junior Anna Funck’s penalty kick goal in the 74th minute capped a 4-0 win at East Central on Oct. 14, is 0-3-1 since — managing a scoreless tie Oct. 23 at home with Southwestern Oklahoma.
Then, after nearly 70 scoreless minutes in Sunday’s match, the teams erupted for three goals in a span of less than seven minutes.
Texas Woman’s (9-8-1, 4-5-0), which moved up to the No. 5 seed in the tournament when Angelo State lost 2-1 Sunday at Central Oklahoma, struck first at the 69:24 mark when Luma took a lead pass from Christine Hornisher and beat ENMU goalkeeper Stephanie Sanchez with a low shot to the right corner of the net.
Less than two minutes later, the Pioneers were called for a foul in the penalty box. ENMU sophomore Katharine Coloumbe punched the penalty kick past Pioneers goalkeeper Aly Vincent to tie the score.
But Texas Woman’s regained the lead on a goal by midfielder Emily Meinen, who one-touched a pass from Luna into the net with just under 14 minutes left.
The Zias established a school record for wins this season after going 9-9-2 a year ago.
ENMU men lose — At San Antonio, the ENMU men’s soccer team fell behind 3-0 at halftime and dropped a 5-2 Southwest Soccer Conference decision to St. Mary’s.
After the Greyhounds’ Jared Morris hit the post with a shot in the eighth minute, the Rattlers (6-9-0, 4-8-0 SSC) scored twice in a span of three minutes to take command.
Freshman midfielder Bryon Plagge and sophomore defender Kris Sumter each had two goals for St. Mary’s, while junior midfielder Jonathan Gray was credited with two assists.
The Hounds (4-14-1, 2-11-0), who close their season Saturday at West Texas A&M, pulled to 3-1 early in the second half on a goal by sophomore forward Jonathan Holman. ENMU’s Matthew Thomas made it 4-2 with an unassisted goal at the 75:50 mark.