|St. Thomas (Texas)||1||0||1|
|1||19:07||Katarina Maksimov (St. Thomas (Texas))|
|Southwest (N.M.)||Indv. Leaders||St. Thomas (Texas)|
|None||Assists||2 Players (#2,#21) - 1|
|#5 Naomi Morales - 4||Shots||#21 Siobhan Higgins - 5|
|#1 Brittany Garrido - 7||Saves||#00 Emma Pinkerton - 8|
|Southwest (N.M.)||Team Statistics||St. Thomas (Texas)|
|16 (10)||Shots (on goal)||16 (9)|
HOUSTON, Texas - The University of St. Thomas (UST) Women's Soccer team captured its fourth win of the season on Thursday, Oct. 5 with a 1-0 victory over Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) rivals, University of the Southwest (USW), on the team's annual Kick Cancer Night.
Before the game, the Celts honored Dr. Rick Krustchinsky as honorary faculty coach. Mrs. Camille Landry, a breast cancer survivor, performed the game's honorary first kick.
The Celts applied pressure early on, with freshman forward Courtlyn Boxie (FR/Houston, TX) - making her first career start - hitting the crossbar in the 10th minute after a driven ball across the 6-yard box by Katarina Maksimov (SO/Richmond, TX).
The Celts found a breakthrough in the 19th minute, when Maksimov latched onto a pass from Siobhan Higgins (SR/Katy, TX) and headed the ball to the back of the net for her team-leading fourth goal of the season.
The Celts would take the lead into the half and continued to build momentum going into the second half. They created several scoring opportunities, including a driven ball across the penalty area from Mariana Sanches (SR/Salvador, Brazil) that was met by Higgins, who forced a difficult save from Mustangs goalkeeper, Brittany Garrido.
The Celts defense and midfield, led by Yarimar Vazquez (SR/San Juan, Puerto Rico) and Alexis Moreleon (SR/Houston, TX), continued to thwart any pressure from the Mustangs and Celts held on for a 1-0 win.
"The win was not only important for the rankings but also for our team's morale," said goalkeeper Emma Pinkerton (JR/Kingwood, TX). "We all played really hard and getting a win helped show us what it takes to be successful on the field."
The Celts outshot the Mustangs who were very dangerous going forward. Pinkerton and the Celts defense of Sydney Wright (SO/Katy, TX), Chelsea York (SR/Deer Park, TX), Lena Whitt (SR/Sugar Land, TX), and Kathryn Padgett recorded the team's fourth shutout of the season.
"I'm very proud of our defense for managing to keep another shutout," said Pinkerton. "Lena made some incredible tackles throughout the game that kept USW from having many major scoring opportunities. As we continue to play together, we've become a very cohesive unit and our communication has improved a lot as we continue to play together. Having two really aggressive center defenders makes all the difference in the world. I know that if a ball breaks through the midfield that both Sydney and Chelsea are working as hard as possible to get it back."
With the win on Thursday, the Celts improve to 4-3-1 on the season, and 3-1 in conference play.
"Every game, from our defense to our midfield and forwards, we've progressively gotten better and better," said Maksimov. "In each game we learn more about each other and our playing styles and we've been able to create many scoring opportunities which have led to goals. Last night's game was so important for us as a team, especially since we all fought hard from start to finish."
Head Coach Nikola Barjaktarevic also highlighted the team's commitment to hard work for the full match.
"The difference maker for us last night was our mentality -- we were hard working and positive. Although we didn't capitalize on a few clear chances, those will eventually come. I'm happy with how much we created against an excellent opponent in the University of the Southwest, and it was exciting to see us play well both defensively and offensively. Now we have to turn our attention to preparing for our next match tomorrow."
The Celts are back in action on Saturday, Oct. 7 as they will take on Paul Quinn College at Houston Sports Park at 5:00 p.m.