ABILENE, Texas- Chandler Jackson continues to rise to the occasion in postseason play.
After scoring UMHB’s lone goal in Tuesday’s ASC tournament quarterfinal win over Belhaven, the senior defender came up with another key goal in Friday night’s semi final. Once again, it was UMHB’s only goal of the match. And just like Tuesday, the Crusaders earned the win.
The 1-0 victory over Concordia (TX) propelled the Cru into Sunday’s ASC Championship match. The opponent is a familiar one, as UMHB battles Hardin-Simmons, the winner of 18 straight ASC tournament titles. Five of the last six meetings between the opponents have been decided by a single goal, including the Oct. 23 match in Belton, which HSU won 1-0 in double overtime. That contest is set for 1 p.m. CT on Sunday in Abilene.
Jackson found the back of the net in the 25th minute, firing a well-placed shot off an assist from forward Maria Rico. It marked one of two shots on goal for Jackson in the match.
In total, the Cru fired 12 shots, eight of which were on goal. In addition to Jackson, Kristen Burdick tallied two shots on goal, and Kelsey White, Shay Taylor, Breland Mungia and Tyler Pierce each had one.
The defensive play of goalkeeper Reagan Williams was especially notable, as the freshman played all 90 minutes for the second straight tournament game. She tallied two saves, both with UMHB in the lead. The Round Rock, Texas native got in front of a shot from Concordia’s Marley Hennig just before the half, at the 44:34 mark. The Tornadoes’ second shot on goal of the match was also stopped by Williams in the 60th minute, keeping Concordia from tying the score. That was also the final shot Concordia took in the match.
UMHB men’s soccer eliminated by Hardin-Simmons
BELTON, Texas- The UMHB men’s soccer team saw its ASC tournament run come to a close on Friday evening, as Hardin-Simmons got past the Cru in the semifinals by a score of 2-0.
HSU’s victory snapped an 11-game win streak for UMHB, whose three losses all came in non-conference play against teams currently ranked in the top 10 of the United Soccer Coaches Association Top 25 poll.
The match was tied through the first half of play, with HSU taking three more shots than the Crusaders, who fired four in the match’s first 45 minutes. The Cowboy offense was much improved from the last time the two teams met, on Oct. 23 in Belton, with UMHB taking a 3-0 victory. In fact, Crusader goalkeeper Dalton Lloyd was a critical reason the contest remained tied for as long as it did, as the senior made four first-half saves.
But HSU finally got it past Lloyd just two minutes into the second half, as Osi Gutierrez fired a shot into the right side of the goal. That lead widened to 2-0 nearly 20 minutes later, when Daniel Guillen took a pass and found the back of the net in the 68th minute.
Ethan Buchanan and Ethan Dacaret each fired shots on goal late in the second half for UMHB, as the Crusaders desperately tried to even the score. But two saves from HSU’s Reid Applewhite kept the Cowboys in the lead, and handed UMHB its first loss and first shutout since Sept. 17, when the Cru lost 3-0 at Trinity.
UMHB currently holds a 13-4 record. Hope for an NCAA tournament berth is not completely lost, as there are 21 Pool C at-large tournament berths available. The Cru played a challenging non-conference schedule, facing three Top 10 teams, and were flawless in ASC play. UMHB was also No. 2 in Region X in the most recent NCAA regional rankings The tournament field will be announced on Nov. 8.