Zias upend Lady Buffs

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson ENMU freshman forward Hannah Dozier, left, gets the kick past West Texas A&M goalkeeper Sarah Pipkin for the go-ahead score in the second half of Sunday’s 2-1 win.

CNJ staff

PORTALES — Freshman forward Hannah Dozier had a goal and an assist on Sunday as the Eastern New Mexico University women’s soccer team edged West Texas A&M 2-1 at the ENMU pitch, the first win for the Zias over WT in the program’s history.

It was the Lone Star Conference opener for both teams, and ENMU (7-2) extended its school-record winning streak to seven matches.

Zias coach Travis McCorkle noted that his fifth-year squad has now beaten everyone in the 11-team conference except Central Oklahoma and Texas A&M-Commerce, while Abilene Christian added women’s soccer this year.

“I think it’s good for the girls and their confidence,” McCorkle said of the win. “Now we’ll have a ‘bulls-eye’ on our backs, but in the end it’s about (trying to win) the conference.”

Sophomore forward Samantha Lawrence gave ENMU the lead in the 18th minute, taking a feed from Dozier and punching it into an open net from close range after WT keeper Sarah Pipkin was unable to corral a loose ball.

The Lady Buffs tied it early in the second half when Adi Stein found Elisabeth Markussen fired a shot off the goalpost and then pushed the rebound in past ENMU goalkeeper Stephanie Sanchez.

The Zias, going into the wind in the second half, held off repeated WT challenges before sophomore forward Leslie Weber delivered a long pass over the defense to Dozier, who beat Pipkin 1-on-1 from about eight yards out for her fifth goal of the season.

McCorkle said several Zias played well on defense, including senior defenders Katharine Coulombe and Marcela Garcia, junior midfielder Hillary Gintowt and freshman defender Justine Tydings.

“I thought Marcela Garcia had one of her best matches of the season,” McCorkle said.

Sanchez also had a strong game in the net, making five of her six saves in the second half.

“It’s kind of what we’ve come to expect from her,” McCorkle said.

The Zias are home for a pair of LSC matches this weekend, taking on Angelo State on Friday and Abilene Christian on Sunday.