Women’s Soccer 1-1 On Weekend, Defeats Missouri Valley 5-2

The UCA women’s soccer team (3-5-0) came back from a 2-1 loss against Missouri State on Sept. 11 with a 5-2 win against Mississippi Valley State University on Sept. 13.

UCA took on Missouri State University (3-2-1) Friday night.

During the first half, MSU player Alix Opfer, assisted by player Brooke Pondzinski, scored a goal from nine yards.

UCA didn’t score during the first half.

During the second half, UCA player Ashley Smith (10), assisted by Shelby Wilson (3), scored from five yards out.

MSU scored playing from corner into the box. Missouri State made 11 shots to Central Arkansas’ 12. Missouri State’s Jessica Perry made three saves; UCA’s Lauren Mercuri (0) made two saves, and Anna Hughes (00) made three. The final score was 2-1 Missouri State.

Sunday’s game was against Mississippi Valley State University (2-5-0). UCA scored once during the first half and four times during the second half. MVSU scored twice in the second half. During the first half, UCA’s Alex Moore (13) played the ball across the box, tapped inside by Dayna Mounie (9).

During the second half, UCA’s Shelby Wilson (3) scored from six yards out, unassisted. Three minutes later, Wilson scores again from 22 yards, this time assisted by Jessica Pantuso (2). UCA’s Camille Bassett (15), assisted by MaKayla Wilson (25), scores by dribbling into the box and hitting the left back post.

Shelby Wilson, assisted by Ashley Smith (10), again scores by dribbling in the ball and hitting it in near the post.

Junior midfielder Shelby Wilson said the win serves as a confidence-booster for the team heading into conference play.

Wilson said the team’s mindset is to keep working hard.

“Winning isn’t just going to be given to us, and we can’t just sit back and ‘hope’ its going to happen,” Wilson said. “We work hard each week at practice and we need to come out each weekend ready to let our hard work pay off in the games by coming out with a victory.”

Wilson said the team needed to learn to start with a high intensity from the beginning of the games.

Mississippi Valley made a comeback in the late second half with two scores in the last 15 minutes.

MVSU player Nykosi Simmons (15) scores unassisted. MSVU player Mariana Balbao (11), assisted by Laadi Issaka (19), scored from the edge of the 18.

Mississippi Valley attempted fifteen shots. Central Arkansas attempted 26 shots.

Mississippi Valley’s Rita Gyasi (16) made eight saves. Central Arkansas’ Sarah Mayorga (00) made one save, and Anna Hughes made five (1).

“We just need to work on having that mentality from the get go and I believe we will be very successful,” Wilson said.

The Sugar Bears will be back in action on the road against conference foe Sam Houston State at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 18 in Hunstsville, Texas.

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 16, 2015 print edition of The Echo.

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