Stellar defensive effort gives Lions 0-0 tie to open 2019 season.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah– The Texas A&M University-Commerce soccer team fought to a scoreless tie against Westminster College on Thursday. The Lion defense shone in the contest as they held off 32 shots, including all 10 shots on goal.
Both teams are 0-0-1 on the season. It is the second time in program history the Lions have earned a tie to begin the season.
The Lions return to action on Monday as they head to Alva, Okla. to face Northwestern Oklahoma State. The game will begin at 6 p.m. at the Alva Recreation Center.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– Freshman Jen Peters (Allen) made 10 saves in her Lion debut, earning the shutout.
– The Lion defense held off multiple attacks as Westminster had 32 shots in the game, controlling possession for more than half of the match.
– A&M-Commerce had nine shots in the game.
– Cora Welch (Plano – Plano Senior) put two of her shots on goal in the game. Kara Blasingame (Oswego, Ill.) also had a shot on goal.
– Jocelyn McDonough (McKinney – Boyd) took two shots while Kasey Sorbers (Rowlett – Sachse) and Hallie McCarroll (Frisco – Centennial) both took one shot.
– It is the second time in program history the Lions have opened a season with a tie (2006). It is the program’s first tie since Oct. 11, 2017.
HEAD COACH NEIL PIPER AFTER THE GAME
– On the game: “It was a very intense game. We played hard and for the most part, stuck to the game plan. We put the players through some adverse conditions, and they responded tremendously.”
– On the play of the defense: “The defense played great. Jen Peters was terrific in goal. She made some unbelievable saves.”
– On the offense: “We had our chances as well. We hit the post on a corner kick and had some breaks, not go our way.”
– On the conditions: It was hot, the field turf was like playing in the sand, and we also had to deal with the altitude.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Lions were aggressive from the get-go, as the teams traded possession early. The Griffins had an early shot on goal that Peters was able to knock aside. The Lions were able to get the ball early often, but tight defense from WC did not allow for any shots.
The Lions got their first shot on goal from Welch in the eighth minute, but it was saved by the Griffin keeper. Another chance went wide from McDonough in the 11th minute.
The defense was strong by both teams in the first half as neither team could find space to take clean shots on goal. Westminster had a pair of chances midway through the half, but the Lion defense did not allow for the shots to go on target.
The Griffins began to control possession the ball on their side of the field late in half, but the Lion defense continued to keep the ball away from the goal. The Griffins had a breakaway in the 34th minute that caused Peters to come out of the goal. Peters made a diving save just inside the six-yard box and kept the game scoreless. The Lion defense held off another attack and the game went into halftime tied at zero.
The Lions had a two of their three shots go on goal in the first half while WC took 15 shots, four of which were on target.
The Lions had a pair of early opportunities in the second half as Welch had two different headers, one of which was on goal.
Peters made another save in the 60th minute as a pair of on-target passes allowed a Griffin player some space. Peters got in the way and knocked the shot away again. Peters had another save in the 64th minute.
The Lion offense had an opportunity in the 67th minute as their pressure forced the goalkeeper to come out of the six-yard box. However, the Griffins swarmed to keep the Lions from being able to capitalize.
The Lion defense continued to hold off WC in its possessions, looking for an offensive opportunity. A shot by McDonough went wide as the Lions found a chance late in regulation. Peters made another fingertip save in the 86th minute and made a save in the final seconds to force overtime.
The Lions had an early shot in the overtime before both teams traded possessions. Neither team had many opportunities in the first overtime. A final corner kick by the Griffins was not playable, and the teams went to double overtime.
The Griffins had an early opportunity in the second overtime with three separate shots in the span of a few seconds. However, the Lion defense continued to swarm and did not allow the Griffins to find the net, ending the game in a scoreless tie.
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