Oct. 10, 2000
Southland Weekly Soccer - Oct. 10, 2000
Three-Way Tie for First Makes Final SLC Games Crucial
Northwestern State's 2-0 win over Southeastern Louisiana yesterday afternoon created a three-way tie for first place in the Southland Conference. Southwest Texas, NWLa. and SLU all have 18 points by virtue of six wins each. With the regular season winding down, each Conference contest is crucial to the standings and qualification for postseason play. The top four teams will advance to the Conference tournament set for October 27 and 29 in Natchitoches, La. There are 14 Southland games remaining among the seven soccer schools. Southwest Texas and Louisiana-Monroe both have five league games left. Northwestern State, Stephen F. Austin and McNeese each have four remaining, while SLU and Nicholls State are down to their last three Conference contests. Several key matchups are slated, including Oct. 15 when SWT visits NWLa. and Oct. 20 when SLU plays at SWT.
Missy Payne scored a pair of goals and Tiffany Swingler earned the Demons' league-leading sixth shutout as they defeated Southeastern Louisiana, 2-0, Monday in a record-setting performance. The victory is NWLa.'s third in a row and gives them an overall record of 9-7, tying the school record for wins in a season. With 46 points, they also broke the school mark for Conference points in a season. Northwestern State tied its record for Conference goals with 17, and set a new record for Conference shutouts with five. The Demons were awarded 19 corner kicks in the SLU match, just three shy of the NCAA record, and now have a total of 97 on the year, far and away the most in the Southland. The win over SLU, a first since Sept. 1998, keeps NWLa.'s perfect home record intact at 4-0 at Demon Field. Opponents beware - three of Northwestern State's last four games are at home. The lone road trip is to SFA.
SLU's week began on a positive note with a 6-2 win over Nicholls State. Wanda Regan and Cory Cochrane each scored two goals as the Lady Lions erupted for four first-half goals in an 11-minute span. SLU's four-game winning streak was cut short though, as Stephen F. Austin upset the Lady Lions, 2-0, in Nacogdoches on Saturday. Nicole Horn and Anna Steed provided the offensive punch while Elizabeth Evatt, who has been out with an injury, made an impressive return with her second shutout.
SLU has lost back-to-back games for the first time all season. The Lady Lions end their home schedule Sunday against ULM, then hit the road for meetings at McNeese State and co-leader SWT. They still have the best goals against average with a stingy 1.27.
Southwest Texas hosted Houston and North Texas last week. The Cougars built a 2-0 first-half lead, but Julie Grifo prevented the shutout with her second goal of the season just after intermission. SWT could not even the score and Houston won, 2-1. Then Friday, the Bobcats were somewhat surprised by North Texas' speed. The Lady Eagles scored three goals in the opening 20 minutes, then added two more for a 5-0 victory. It was only the third time all season that SWT had been shut out, the 'Cats lost 3-0 at New Mexico and 2-0 to Northern Arizona at the beginning of the year.
After starting the 2000 season with four losses, SFA has greatly improved with three consecutive wins. The Ladyjacks faced a tough ULM squad in Monroe last Tuesday, and a late goal by Steed, who leads the team with six, was enough for a 1-0 win. Lotta Westerberg, SFA's third-string keeper who had never played that position before, made 10 saves for her first career shutout. Westerberg returned to her spot on the field when Evatt went back between the pipes against SLU.
ULM sits in a fourth-place tie with SFA at nine points. The Lady Indians went outside the Southland for a pair of road games in Colorado. They have had five tough games in a row, losing to the top three Conference teams and then dropping games to Colorado College, 3-0, and Denver, 5-1. Chelsea Shrirer found the back of the net against DU just after halftime.
McNeese State is winless in its last six games, going 0-5-1. The Cowgirls also played non-conference games last week, losing 5-2 to Birmingham Southern, and 4-0 to Centenary. With BSC leading, 4-0, toward the end of the game, Brenna Abbitt and Allison Arnold scored within five minutes of each other to put McN on the board. Three of the Cowgirls' last four games are on the road. They host SLU on Oct. 17.
NICH, which is struggling at 2-12 overall and 1-8 in Conference, has seen its newcomers supply all 10 goals this year. Freshmen Shannon Flynn, who hails from Rapid City, S.D., and Kim Robinson, NICH's first Canadian student-athlete, have scored seven goals between them. Junior college transfer Desiree Arterburn and freshman Roxanna Gonzalez each have one goal. Kristin Demasi, who trained with the Lady Colonels last season but did not play, has also scored one.
Offensive Player of the Week
Missy Payne * junior * midfielder * Northwestern State
Missy Payne of The Woodlands, Texas, scored the game-winning goals in two of the Demons' three Southland victories last week. She registered both goals in the 2-0 shutout of Southeastern Louisiana, which put NWLa. in a three-way tie for first place. On eight shots, Payne scored three goals for six points.
Also nominated: Anna Steed, SFA.
Previous winners: Cory Cochrane, SLU, Britiany Cargill, NWLa., Maggie Brooks, SWT, Wanda Regan, SLU, Jessica Armendariz, SWT, Allison Crain, SWT.
Defensive Player of the Week
Tiffany Swingler * junior * goalkeeper * Northwestern State
The Demons rolled to three Southland shutout wins last week behind the netminding of Tiffany Swingler of Austin, Texas. Swingler earned all three shutouts, making 13 saves on 25 shots in 270:00 minutes of play. She leaps to second in the Conference with four shutouts.
Also nominated: Lotta Westerberg, SFA.
Previous winners: Nicole Helmig, SLU (two weeks), Kristen Tutt, SWT, Sara Hand, McN, Jennifer Doran, ULM, Kristen Tutt, SWT.