PORTALES — Eastern New Mexico University’s women snapped a nine-match all-time soccer losing streak to Texas A&M-Commerce earlier this season with a tie on the road. Sunday, they broke through to beat the Lions for the first time and put themselves in good position to make the six-team Lone Star Conference tournament in early November.
Freshman forward Angela Sandoval dribbled the ball down the left side and through the box, crossing a shot past Lions goalkeeper Randi Hafele in the 83rd minute and the Zias held on for a 1-0 victory at the ENMU pitch.
The Zias (6-5-3, 4-3-3 LSC) stand fourth in the eight-team conference, just behind the Lions (7-6-2, 5-4-2), but they now have a tiebreaker against Commerce. The top six teams advance to the tourney.
Commerce was hot coming in, winning its previous three matches by a combined score of 11-1, but senior goalkeeper Sierra Cardenas collected four saves and the Zias’ defense shut the door.
ENMU, seeking its second LSC tourney berth in the program’s nine-year history, hosts seventh-place Incarnate Word on Friday and fifth-place Angelo State on Sunday before closing the regular season next week with matches at sixth-place West Texas A&M and second-place Midwestern State. The Lions have three remaining outings, all at home, against MSU, conference-leading Abilene Christian and last-place Texas Woman’s.
ENMU 2, St. Mary’s 1 (men) — At San Antonio, freshman forward Alvaro Joly scored his first goal of the season early in the second half and the Greyhounds held on for a non-league win over the Rattlers.
The Hounds (6-3-4), who lead the four-team LSC men’s race at 3-0-1, scored less than five minutes into the contest when freshman midfielder Anthony Bardon picked up his third goal of the season on a pass from sophomore midfielder Julian Roberts.
Rattlers senior Rodrigo Ramos tied the match in the 16th minute with a header off a free kick by freshman Fernando Arias-Williamson.
Freshman Matt Malak made four saves in goal for the Hounds, while Patrick Kasperitis had six stops for St. Mary’s (3-9).
The Hounds return to action with a 3 p.m. non-league match on Wednesday against Texas-Permian Basin at the ENMU pitch.