Lady Red Wolves overcome odds in victorious weekend
Published: Monday, October 21, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 21, 2013 17:10
A-State women’s soccer showcased their dominance at home this weekend when they defeated Western Kentucky (WKU) 3-0 and an overtime victory in a 3-2 thriller against Georgia State (GSU).
Coming into the weekend, ASU was 2-3 in conference play, but a win would guarantee their Sun Belt Conference tournament playoff bid. Their victories over WKU and GSU solidified their places in the conference tournament.
ASU (9-6-2, 4-3) played WKU who were first in the conference entering the contest on Friday. The Red Wolves would win in a convincing fashion.
“We’ve never beaten Western Kentucky in the history of Arkansas State soccer,” Head Coach Tafadzwa Ziyenge said. “For us to beat them in such a convincing way, I give a lot of credit to our girls for working really hard. We have now clinched a playoff spot for the third consecutive year.”
The first half of the WKU game started quickly for the Red Wolves. The Hilltopper’s goalie gave the Red Wolves a goal when she accidently knocked the ball into the net off of an ASU corner kick. The score in the 7th minute of play would be the only score for the next 62 minutes of play.
In the 69th minute of play, sophomore Loren Mitchell headed the ball into the top corner of the net off of sophomore Elizabeth Howard’s corner kick. Three minutes later, Mitchell would get another break away scoring off junior Samhia Simao’s through ball.
Mitchell’s two goals propelled ASU to the 3-0 victory over WKU.
Ziyenge was thrilled to clinch the playoff bid with the victory over WKU.
“When we get together, we are always trying to make history,” Ziyenge said. “We knew Western Kentucky stood in the way of us and history. The odds were stacked against us, but for us to overcome the odds is a true testament to the hard work of my players.”
The team returned to the field to challenge Georgia State on Sunday.
“Georgia State is as good as Western Kentucky,” Ziyenge said. “Their record just doesn’t show it.”
The game against GSU would be a hard fought victory for the Red Wolves.
Samhia Simao played a phenomenal game against Georgia State. She scored two goals in the contest. The first goal came in the 20th minute when she curved the free kick around the outstretched hand of the GSU goalie.
She added to her second score in the 57th minute of play with a brilliant shot to the top right corner of the net.
Georgia State provided an answer to both of Simao’s goals. The regulation period would end with the score tied 2-2.
Loren Mitchell would come up huge again for the Red Wolves. She scored three minutes into overtime to give ASU the 3-2 victory.
“This is the first overtime game we’ve won since 2010,” Ziyenge said. “So I am very proud of the fight of the girls.
A-State has one final game against Texas State on Oct. 27, and will begin preparing for postseason play that will begin Nov. 6th.
“Playoffs are another beast altogether,” Ziyenge said.
“We’re just trying to finish off our last conference game. Then we will just re-plan when it comes to conference playoffs. Right now, we are just focused on Texas State.”