Photo of Mackenzie Worthy by Russell Marwitz/True To The Cru/russellmarwitz.com
BELTON-Friday night’s match was the first of three contests set to be played over a four-day span for the UMHB women’s soccer team. It is a portion of the slate that will certainly test The Cru’s stamina and depth.
And yet, the Crusaders did not hold back, shutting out Texas Lutheran in a 4-0 victory that moved them to 5-0 in 2023.
Mackenzie Worthy tallied UMHB’s first shot of the contest just 64 seconds into the opening half, and that steady stream of offense continued for the 89 minutes that followed. UMHB finished with 22 shots, 12 of which were on goal.
The first of those to find the back of the net came in the 31st minute, when Worthy scored her first goal of the match off a pair of good passes in TLU territory. Kelsey White and Morgen Rathmell were both credited with the assist.
Rathmell stepped up with her first collegiate goal just before halftime, as the junior scored in the 42nd minute, giving UMHB a 2-0 lead. Worthy, who was credited with the assist on Rathmell’s goal, came through with yet another score in the 53rd minute, firing a well-placed shot into the goal on a penalty kick. And Ashley Vensel then capped the stellar performance with her first goal of the year, scoring in the 65th minute.
UMHB’s lockdown defense, and particularly the back line, helped keep that margin intact as the second half progressed. TLU struggled in getting a good look offensively, and mustered just three total shots, as scoring opportunities ended up few and far between for the visiting Bulldogs.
- Entering the match, TLU had not allowed more than two goals in any of its eight contests (counting two exhibitions) in 2023. That included a recent duel with ASC rival Hardin-Simmons, in which the Cowgirls won, 2-0.
- Since 2022, UMHB is just the third TLU opponent to score four goals against the Bulldogs in regular season play, with Concordia (TX) and Trinity (TX) being the others.
- UMHB has allowed just one goal through its first five matches of the season. This is the second time in the last four seasons that the Crusaders have accomplished that feat AND started the season 5-0, having done so in the 2020-21 campaign.
- That 2020-21 team allowed just three goals in nine matches and never allowed more than one goal in any single match.
- With Friday’s victory, UMHB extended its streak to 11 straight home matches in which The Cru has either won or tied. The last loss in Belton came to Hardin-Simmons on Oct. 23, 2021.
- Mackenzie Worthy’s two goals marked just the second time in her collegiate career that the forward has registered a multi-goal performance in a single match. In fact, this is the first time in her UMHB career that Worthy has scored more than one goal in The Cru’s first five games of the season.
- Worthy also scored twice in last season’s 4-0 win at LeTourneau.
- With Morgen Rathmell and Ashley Vensel recording their first goals of 2023, UMHB has now received a goal from seven different players on the roster. Only Worthy and Jayme Dowell have scored more than once thus far.
- UMHB’s four goals were not only the most scored by The Cru in a match this season, it was also the highest-scoring effort since Oct. 20, 2022, when UMHB bested McMurry, 4-0.
- UMHB has scored four or more goals in a contest on nine different occasions within the last three seasons.
UMHB hosts UW-Stevens Point in Belton on Saturday night at 7 p.m., before venturing down to San Antonio for a contest against Trinity (TX). The Tigers are 2-3-2 overall, while UWSP heads into Saturday’s match with a 1-5 record.