Jonesboro, AR (A-State) – The Arkansas State women's soccer team earned three important points in the race for the Sun Belt Conference Tournament with a 3-1 victory over Coastal Carolina Sunday afternoon at the A-State Soccer Park.
Coastal Carolina took an early lead with a goal in the 30th minute, but the Red Wolves (7-5-1, 3-3-1) answered with three goals of their own in the game's final 50 minutes to secure the win and move into a tie for third place with the Chanticleers in the SBC standings.
"Lately it has been one of those scenarios where we have been playing really well, but just haven't been getting the results," A-State head Brian Dooley said. "The first goal was a result of smart of decision making and the last two were purely 100 percent effort goals and when you see that you know that something is working for your group and today we certainly benefited from it."
Trailing 1-0 in the 40th minute, freshman Sarah Sodoma took a pass from Amy Andrea on the left side of the 18-yard box and dribbled near the end line before sending a strike to the far post that curved into the net for the game-tying goal.
Arkansas State took the lead in the 79th minute when Olivia Smith collected a pass into the box and chipped it past the goalkeeper for the 2-1 lead. The pass was sent in by Tayler Carter as the Coastal Carolina goalkeeper came out to try to clear the ball away, but Smith was able to make a sliding effort to kick the ball away and got up to finish the attack with a chip into the goal.
Five minutes later, A-State added to its lead. Bailey Reed gathered a corner kick sent in by Sodoma and emerged from the scrum in front of the goal with an open look at the goal and put away the attempt to give the Red Wolves breathing room as the match entered the final 10 minutes.
Coastal Carolina (9-5-1, 4-3-1) pressured in the final seven minutes of the match, getting a shot on goal, but Kelsey Ponder stopped the attempt in the 88th minute for one of her eight saves on the afternoon. She now stands alone in third place on the all-time saves list in school history with 210 and lowered her season goals against average to 0.58.
Sunday's match also marked the final home match for Carter, Reed and Alexis Philippe. All three seniors were honored in a ceremony before the match.