By Dave Wagner
Eastern New Mexico University junior forward Karly Parkans got out of her “funk” in a big way Saturday.
Parkans, who had scored just one goal since getting two in a season-opening win at Dallas Baptist, punched in three goals on Saturday as the Zias rolled past St. Gregory’s 5-1 at the ENMU soccer field.
“It was nice to see Karly get going again,” ENMU soccer coach Travis McCorkle said. “She had had a few games there where she was struggling.”
Parkans’ hat trick was the Zias’ second of the season — sophomore Megan Dozier had three goals in a 4-1 win at Colorado Christian on Sept. 3 — and helped push ENMU (7-5), which blanked Adams State 2-0 on Friday, two games over .500 for the first time in the program’s two-year history.
“I knew I wasn’t doing too good, and I couldn’t figure out why,” Parkans said. “I just needed to get more focused.”
Dozier added her team-leading seventh goal of the season in the second half, and added assists on two goals by Parkans late in the first half.
With the match scoreless, Parkans was perfectly positioned in front of the net to tap in a shot by Dozier that deflected off the post in the 35th minute. Less than four minutes later, Dozier found Parkans in front with a crossing pass from the right side.
“Finishing (scoring) has been my problem,” Parkans said. “Today, I was in the right place at the right time. If you time your runs right and the ball gets there at the right time, you can score.”
Freshman midfielder Nicole Bregler launched a 25-yard shot over Lady Cavaliers goalie Nicole McAuley to make it 3-0 less than two minutes into the second half. A short time later, she found Dozier in front for another goal.
The Shawnee, Okla.-based Lady Cavaliers (2-10), who lost their sixth in a row, scored on a direct kick by junior Sara Sacky with 21 minutes left. ENMU countered that with Parkans’ third goal, on an assist by Lezlie Varner, in the 75th minute.
Of the Zias’ 26 goals this season, only eight have come in the first half.
“We’re still struggling to get off to a fast start,” McCorkle said. “But at least we’re not giving up goals early.
“I think the girls were confident they were going to win this weekend, but in the second half we wanted to get into good habits.
Dozier said the Zias took advantage of St. Gregory’s relative lack of depth (just four subs).
“With all the running we do in practice, I think we were ready for (back-to-back games),” she said. “We came into this weekend expecting two wins, and that’s what we got.”
Seven of the Zias’ eight remaining matches are in the Lone Star Conference. The exception is a home outing next weekend against New Mexico Highlands.
ENMU 2, Adams State 0 (Friday) — Senior midfielder Nicole Johnson scored just over a minute into the second half and Dozier added an insurance tally late as the Zias turned back the Grizzlies.
Johnson got her second goal of the season at the 46:08 mark on junior forward Jessica Rosas’ crossing pass from the left-hand side, beating ASC goalkeeper Jessica Jolly to break the scoring ice.
Dozier got past the defense and beat Jolly with under 10 minutes left for her sixth goal of the season, all but locking up the win.
Freshman Amanda Vanlandingham upped her record to 3-2 for the season, making one save in goal while playing the second half. Freshman Stephanie Sanchez had three saves in the opening stanza, including a difficult stop about 30 minutes in to keep the Grizzlies (4-7-1) off the board.
ENMU 5, St. Gregory’s 1
St. Gregory’s 0 1 — 1
ENMU 2 3 — 5
ENM — Karly Parkans (Megan Dozier), 34:25
ENM — Parkans (Dozier), 37:58
ENM — Nicole Bregler (unassisted), 46:38
ENM — Dozier (Bregler), 51:18
SGU — Sara Sacky (direct kick), 69:00
ENM — Parkins (Lezlie Varner), 73:09
Shots on goal — St. Gregory’s 7, Eastern New Mexico 1. Corner kicks — St. Gregory’s none, Eastern New Mexico 2. Saves — St. Gregory’s 3 (Nicole McAuley 3), Eastern New Mexico 6 (Amy Holtman 6). Yellow cards — St. Gregory’s 2 (Crystal Keating, McAuley), Eastern New Mexico 1 (Katy Force). Records — St. Gregory’s 3-9, Eastern New Mexico 7-5. A — 83.
ENMU 2, Adams State 0
Adams State 0 0 — 0
ENMU 0 2 — 2
ENM — Nicole Johnson (Jessica Rosas), 46:08
ENM — Megan Dozier (unassisted), 80:04
Shots on goal — Adams State 6, Eastern New Mexico 9. Corner kicks — Adams State 7, Eastern New Mexico 5. Saves — Adams State 7 (Jessica Jolly 7), Eastern New Mexico 6 (Stephanie Sanchez 3, Amanda Vanlandingham 1, team 2). Yellow cards — Adams State 1 (Megan Mohn), Eastern New Mexico 1 (Dozier). Records — Adams State 4-7-1, Eastern New Mexico 6-5. A — 61.