CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo ENMU’s Kim Anaya battles for possession of the ball with Meagan Lasley (14) of Texas A&M-Commerce during Friday’s Lone Star Conference women’s soccer match at the ENMU pitch.
By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer
The Eastern New Mexico University women’s soccer team worked hard to gain the lead, then Texas A&M-Commerce’s Meagan Lasley took it away in a matter of moments.
The 5-foot-5 junior forward scored three times in a span of less than eight minutes to give the Lions a 3-1 Lone Star Conference win over the Zias at the ENMU soccer pitch.
Lasley scored after beating the ENMU defense, dribbling into the box and firing a shot from about 17 yards out with just under 30 minutes left. She then headed a ball in off a corner kick by junior Sarah Reed, and got the clincher for the Lions (9-2-1, 3-1 LSC) by spinning away from two ENMU defenders to beat goalkeeper Sierra Cardenas with about 22 1/2 minutes to go.
“We couldn’t deal with one player,” Zias coach Ray Nause said, referring to Lasley. “She’s a good player, and we did not defend her well in the second half.
“Other than that, I thought we played pretty well, we competed pretty well.”
ENMU junior forward Samantha Lawrence found the net from close range just over 6 1/2 minutes into the second half, her 14th goal of the season, to put the Zias (8-7, 2-4) in front.
Lasley’s hat trick pulled her into a tie for second with Lawrence among LSC goal-scorers.
The Zias played solid defense in the first half, holding the Lions to one shot on goal. They finally broke through when Lawrence took a crossing pass from freshman midfielder Kimberly Luna and found herself almost point-blank against Lions keeper Taylor Jordan.
“That’s the third straight game we’ve gone down 1-0,” Lions coach Neil Piper said. “It’s dangerous to do that, but Meagan Lasley stepped it up another gear when we got behind.”
ENMU men lose — At San Antonio, Esteban Bayona’s goal put Incarnate Word in front for good and the Cardinals went on to beat Eastern New Mexico University 3-1 in men’s soccer Friday night.
The Cardinals (7-5), ranked third in the South Central Region and a former member of the Southwest Soccer Conference with ENMU (4-5-2), wasted little time snapping a 1-1 tie after Greyhounds junior midfielder Artur Oliveira scored his first goal of the season at the 21-minute mark.