Zias prevail in double OT, improve to 8-3

By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer

Defense dominated during a school-record seven-match winning streak for the Eastern New Mexico University women’s soccer team, which was broken Friday.

Sunday, they showed they can win a different style of match.

Forwards Samantha Lawrence and Hannah Dozier each scored twice, including the game-winner by Dozier in the second overtime, as the Zias edged first-year program Abilene Christian 5-4 in a Lone Star Conference matchup at the ENMU pitch.

It was a big win for the Zias (8-3, 2-1 LSC), ending a three-match conference homestand before they head out on the road this weekend.

“I think you had a game with some great forwards,” Zias coach Travis McCorkle said. “Abilene Christian has two forwards who play with great pace, and we do too, with Hannah and Sam.”

Dozier decided the match when sophomore April Funck sent a pass ahead to her near the penalty box just over four minutes into the second OT. She dribbled up the right side and beat Wildcats goalkeeper Allison Egan from about 10 yards for her seventh goal of the season.

“I knew I had to get it to the left side (of the goal),” said Dozier, a freshman from Midland, Texas, whose older sister Megan holds the ENMU career record with 33 goals. “(Egan) was coming from the right side.

“We played really good today. Our intensity was really high.”

Neither team led by more than one goal. Dozier put the Zias ahead in the second minute, but Abilene Christian (6-6, 1-2) countered with two goals from freshman forward Lyndsey Womack, her ninth and 10th of the season.

Lawrence then tied the score with a goal off a corner kick by Kimberley Anaya in the 31st minute.

The teams alternated goals through the second half. The Wildcats’ Alyson Thomas managed to slip a free kick from near midfield past ENMU keeper Stephanie Sanchez for a 4-3 lead in the 74th minute, but Funck found the net on a free kick from 25 yards out less than 3 1/2 minutes later.

Dozier acknowledged it could have been tough to come off the homestand with a losing record, especially after the emotional win over WT.

“We didn’t really get down about (Friday’s 2-1 loss to Angelo State), but we knew we had to win this one,” she said.

McCorkle said he knew the Wildcats were an offense-minded side.

“I’m proud of the girls (for) the way they responded,” he said. “This game was up and down (in terms of pace), and we never gave up.

“It’s a great win for us. It’s nice for us to (still) be in charge of our destiny in conference play.”