ABILENE, Texas- The UMHB women’s soccer team came ever so close to finally notching its first victory over Hardin-Simmons in the ASC women’s soccer championship on Sunday afternoon. Two placekicks close.
But for the 19th straight season, it was Hardin-Simmons who won the ASC title, and clinched the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The two teams tied through regulation at 0-0, and the score remained the same after two overtime periods. That forced the match to be decided on placekicks, a battle HSU won 3-1.
Ashley Vensel found the back of the net on UMHB’s first shootout attempt, to which HSU’s Madelyn Dowell countered with a made shot of her own, tying the placekicks score at one.
After both teams’ shooters missed in round two, HSU’s Alexis Sciano connected on the Cowgirls’ third attempt, giving the tournament’s top seed a 2-1 advantage. A miss from Tyler Pierce and a save by HSU goalkeeper Kendall Dowling on Maria Rico’s shot opened the door for HSU’s Aurora Arevalo to clinch the victory, winning on placekicks, 3-1. Arevalo got her shot just past UMHB goalkeeper Reagan Williams, who was extremely reliable for the contest’s entirety. The freshman played all 110 minutes, tallying 11 saves against a strong HSU offense.
HSU outshot UMHB 21-11 in the match, and just three of the Cru’s shots were on goal, all of which came from Vensel.
The loss capped UMHB’s season at 14-3-2. It was the most wins for UMHB in a season since 2017, when the Crusaders went 16-4-1 and qualified for the NCAA Tournament. An NCAA D-III Tournament berth is not entirely out of the question, though UMHB was not ranked in the most recent NCAA Regional Rankings.
Midfielders Shay Taylor and Kristen Burdick, along with defender Chandler Jones, represented UMHB on the ASC All-Tournament team.