Freedom New Mexico
The Eastern New Mexico University women’s soccer team was struggling with winless Southwestern Oklahoma on Sunday at the ENMU pitch. Then sophomore forward Samantha Lawrence took charge.
Lawrence scored three goals in the final 30 minutes, tying the school’s single-season record for goals in the process, as the Zias claimed a 3-0 Lone Star Conference win over the Bulldogs.
Lawrence tied Megan Dozier’s mark of 11 goals, set in 2006. Ironically, Dozier and three other original Zias — Pam Campbell, Anna Funck and Kara Henderson, all of whom played for four years — were recognized during a halftime ceremony.
The win ended a stretch of four losses in five matches for ENMU (9-6, 3-4 LSC), which is trying to earn one of six spots to the conference’s postseason tournament in early November.
Meantime, Southwestern (0-15, 0-6) continued its frustrating campaign. The Bulldogs have been outscored 47-7 this season, never scoring more than one goal in a match, yet Sunday’s loss was the most lopsided in their six LSC outings.
Lawrence took a cross pass from Wilcox and knocked in her first goal at the 64:55 mark. She added an unassisted goal with about 10 minutes left, rocketing a shot past Southwestern goalkeeper Becky Hilterbran from about 40 yards out, then converted another pass from Wilcox in the final 30 seconds.
It was the fourth hat trick in the program’s five-year history. The others belong to Dozier (2004 and 2005) and Karly Parkans (2004).
The two assists by Wilcox also tied a school single-game record. Meantime, senior keeper Stephanie Sanchez recorded her first shutout this season and the seventh of her career, stopping seven Bulldogs shots on goal.
The Zias play their final regular-season road tilts this week, playing LSC matches at Texas A&M-Commerce on Friday and Texas Woman’s on Sunday. They close the regular year with a conference match at home against Midwestern State on Oct. 28.