Zias firing blanks in final stretch

By Dave Wagner: Freedom Newspapers

The Eastern New Mexico University women’s soccer team inability to put the ball in the net lately is proving frustrating.
Trying to nail down their first Lone Star Conference postseason tournament berth, the Zias scrambled to a scoreless tie against Southwestern Oklahoma Sunday at the ENMU pitch.

ENMU (10-6-1, 3-3-1 LSC) is still in control of its destiny, but probably needs a road win over either Friday at Texas A&M-Commerce or Sunday at Texas Woman’s to ensure a berth. The tourney is scheduled for Nov. 3-6 at Edmond, Okla.

The Zias were in contention for a tourney spot last year, but finished seventh — in part because of a late-season scoreless tie at Southwestern.

“I’m not happy,” ENMU coach Travis McCorkle said. “It’s a game where I felt we should’ve been able to get a win.
“Last year this team kept us out of the tournament and, possibly, they might have done it again.”

ENMU’s best scoring chance came midway through the second half when the Lady Bulldogs (7-8-1, 2-4-1) were called for a handball foul in the 18-yard box. But Southwestern goalkeeper Lindsey Crook guessed right and made a save on Megan Dozier’s penalty kick.

“There was some discussion about who would take the shot, Megan or Anna (Funck),” McCorkle said. “I have to applaud Megan for wanting to take it, but you can’t miss it.”
Southwestern coach Joe Bradley said his team competed well.

“It was a tough battle,” he said. “(The brisk, breezy weather) a challenge, but both teams had to play in it. I’m pleased my team played as hard as they could for 110 minutes.”

The Zias are fifth in the LSC with 10 points, but they lead Texas Woman’s and Angelo State (both 3-4) by just one point and the Lady Bulldogs and Northeastern State by three.

Of concern is the fact the Zias haven’t scored in their last three outings, including 1-0 losses to Northeastern State and Central Oklahoma before Sunday’s tie.

“Our defense is keeping us in games right now,” McCorkle said. “But our attack is not giving us a chance to win — end of story.

“I’m not taking anything away from Joe’s team. I’m just disappointed that with everything on the line, we couldn’t win.”

Hounds lose in double OT — At Tahlequah, Okla., Northeastern State’s Lucas Correa scored Sunday in the second minute of double overtime off a throw-in to lift the Redmen to a 2-1 Southwest Soccer Conference win over ENMU’s men.

The Greyhounds (4-12-1, 2-9-0 SSC) three minutes into the second half when sophomore forward-midfielder Rob Humhprey converted a rebound after Northeastern goalkeeper Devon Murray deflected his original shot.

Northeastern (8-8-0, 6-5-0) tied it about three minutes later when Ludinei Picelli Filho found the back of the net.

The Hounds, who beat Missouri Southern 1-0 on Friday in Joplin, Mo., have three more road matches left to finish out the season.