JONESBORO, Ark. (8/25/16) – The Arkansas State women's soccer team earned its first victory of the 2016 season with a 1-0 win over Southeastern Louisiana Thursday afternoon at the Southeastern Soccer Complex.
The Red Wolves battled the Lions and the weather throughout the match, which included a 40-minute stoppage in the first half for a lightning delay. However, once the weather passed A-State was able to maintain its one goal advantage behind a strong effort by sophomore goalie Kelsey Ponder and its defensive back unit.
Ponder made six saves on the night, three in each half, and now has 14 stops through her first two games in goal.
A-State took the lead in the 39th minute of the first half when freshman Julie Chambers sent a ball through the defense to junior Bailey Reed who had a wide open look at the goal and sent the ball in toward the net. A Lions defender raced to the ball and made a sliding attempt to block the shot, but instead pushed into the net for an own goal to give A-State a 1-0.
"After we scored the goal and went through the delay I thought we really started to play good soccer," A-State head coach Brian Dooley said. "We knew that we were strong and I think defensively the kids stayed with the plan and I think we learned a lot from last weekend and the exhibition. We didn't show any panic when we got the lead and we really continued to dictate play to our liking."
Southeastern Louisiana had an opportunity to tie the game in the 54th minute when the Lions were awarded a penalty kick after senior Mykel Ward was called for a foul in the penalty area. However, the attempt missed its mark and hit the crossbar to preserve the one goal advantage for Arkansas State.
Abby Harris had an opportunity to extend the lead in the 60th minute when her header sailed wide of the net, and Tayler Carter had a scoring opportunity that was stopped by Southeastern Louisiana goalie to keep the Red Wolves from extending their lead.
"We had some good opportunities to get another goal in the second half," Dooley said. "We had great movement and the kids really stuck to the plan. I really liked how we communicated on the field and that we continue to improve each time we take the field."