EDMOND, Okla. — Central Oklahoma was looking to clinch a third straight Lone Star Conference regular-season women’s soccer title on Sunday, but Eastern New Mexico University had other ideas.
It took a goal by senior Melissa Terry with 2 1/2 minutes left in regulation to give the Bronchos (14-3, 7-0 LSC) a 2-1 victory and keep ENMU from closing in on its first conference tournament berth in the four-year-history of the program.
The Zias (8-7-1, 3-3-1), who managed a 1-1 tie at Southwestern Oklahoma on Friday, remained tied with Lady Mustangs (6-7-2, 3-3-1) in the conference race, although the teams dropped from a share of fourth when the weekend started to a share of sixth. The top six teams in the 10-team league will advance to the conference meet, scheduled for Oct. 26-29 in Edmond.
ENMU has home matches against Texas Woman’s (4-10-2, 1-4-1) on Friday and Texas A&M-Commerce (8-6-3, 3-2-1) on Sunday to close out the regular season. Southwestern, which was drubbed by West Texas A&M 7-0 on Sunday, plays at Midwestern State (7-6-1, 3-2-1) and at Angelo State (11-4-1, 4-2-1) this week.
Six teams are bunched within a game of each other behind the league-leading Bronchos, so the Zias would likely be in good shape to make the tournament if they can at least split this weekend.
On a rainy Sunday, ENMU junior defender Katharine Coulombe blasted a free kick from 35 yards that bounced off the hands of Bronchos goalkeeper Carly Fisher and into the net with 24 minutes gone, giving the Zias a 1-0 lead.
Central Oklahoma, which extended its unbeaten streak in LSC matches to 23 (21-0-2), tied the score four minutes later on a header by Jenny Racicot. The game stayed that way until the 88th minute, when Terry converted a deflection past ENMU keeper Stephanie Sanchez from about 15 yards out.
Sanchez helped keep the Zias in the match, collecting eight saves. The Bronchos posted a 10-3 advantage in shots on goal for the match.