Eastern New Mexico University’s Kara Henderson gets a header off on a corner kick during the second overtime period of Sunday’s game against East Central. ECU’s Kristi Fimbres defends on the play for East Central. Photo by Kevin Wilson
The Eastern New Mexico University and East Central women’s soccer teams went into Sunday’s matchup looking to improve their chances of making the Lone Star Conference tournament.
In the end, they didn’t settle anything.
Despite only four shots on goal in the match, the Zias twice answered ECU tallies and the teams went on to a 2-2 tie in double overtime at the ENMU soccer field.
The result left both squads at 2-4-1 in the LSC and tied with Northeastern State, a 5-0 loser at West Texas A&M on Sunday, for the sixth and final spot in the tournament with two matches left. ENMU (9-8-1) finished its home schedule with a 5-1-1 mark.
“We’re still in it, but now we need some help from other teams,” ENMU coach Travis McCorkle said. “You don’t want to put things in other peoples’ hands, but that’s where this result leaves us.”
Sophomore midfielder Anna Funck forced overtime by punching a direct kick into the upper left corner of the net from about 25 yards out with less than seven minutes left in regulation.
“I have to give the girls credit for digging out two goals,” McCorkle, said. “It was just a great free kick by Anna.”
Funck, scoring her fourth goal of the season, said she didn’t play the crosswind properly and the ball didn’t go where she intended.
“I was looking for the back post,” she said. “It didn’t really work out for me, but it went in.”
The Lady Tigers (7-6-2), who lost 7-0 at WT on Friday, appeared poised to win moments earlier when senior forward Jenny Cruz beat goalkeeper Stephanie Sanchez from about 15 yards out after taking a pass ahead from Michelle Grubbs.
East Central broke on top in the 19th minute on a goal by junior midfielder Jessie Shertzer, but the Zias tied it several minutes later on sophomore Megan Dozier’s team-leading 10th goal of the season.
Despite subbing only a couple of times, ECU more than held its own for most of the match.
“They had some opportunities, but that’s just how the game goes sometimes,” Funck said. “We had our chances late, but we just couldn’t get them in.”
From ECU coach Heather Beam’s perspective, it was a lost weekend and she said her team would be glad to get back home to Ada, Okla.
“We played well individually, but we didn’t play well as a team,” she summed up. “We didn’t make smart decisions.
“The will was there, but we weren’t able to put it together.”
The Zias finish the regular season on Friday at last-place Southwestern Oklahoma and on Sunday at league-leading Central Oklahoma. The LSC tournament will be hosted by Texas A&M-Commerce from Nov. 4-6.
ENMU 2, East Central 2, 2 OT, tie
East Central 1 1 0 0 — 2
ENMU 1 1 0 0 — 2
ECU — Jessie Shertzer (Samantha Murphy), 18:46
ENM — Megan Dozier (Stephanie Sanchez), 25:43
ECU — Jenny Cruz (Michelle Grubbs), 80:51
ENM — Anna Funck (direct kick), 83:36
Shots on goal —
East Central 7, Eastern New Mexico 4. Corner kicks —
East Central 4, Eastern New Mexico 2. Saves —
East Central 2 (Meagan Wilson 2), Eastern New Mexico 5 (Stephanie Sanchez 5). Records —
East Central 7-6-2 (2-4-1), Eastern New Mexico 9-8-1 (2-4-1). A —