By Dave Wagner: Freedom New Mexico
Samantha Lawrence notched her second career hat trick Friday.
Turns out, it was just enough.
Lawrence, a junior forward from Roswell, provided all the scoring for the Zias, who held off Colorado Christian 3-2 at the ENMU soccer pitch for their first win of the season.
ENMU (1-3) managed one goal in three outings last weekend in Billings, Mont.
“I just knew we had to come in and get some wins,” Lawrence said as the Zias began a run of nine matches in which the only road outing is the short trip to rival West Texas A&M.
“My job is to put the ball in the back of the net, and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. I had great midfield play behind me today.”
Lawrence, who had a hat trick against Southwestern Oklahoma last year, scored twice in the first half for a 2-0 lead at the intermission. She made it 3-1 when she worked around a Cougars defender and beat goalkeeper Alison Cox inside the left post with just under six minutes left.
Colorado Christian (1-2) pulled close on a goal by Nicole Gill with 19 seconds left.
“We did the most important thing — win,” first-year ENMU coach Ray Nause said. “They (Zias) did what it took to win the game. Every day is a learning experience for our group.”
As ENMU’s most experienced forward, Lawrence will be counted on to contribute goals. Still, Nause made the case that the Zias have depth beyond that.
“We’re happy Sam scored today, but we’re a deep team,” he said. “We’re not running everything through Sam.
“She did a great job for us today, but I’m confident others will step up and score goals for us.”
Going slightly into what was essentially a crosswind during the first half, the Zias appeared well in control of the contest at halftime.
“Today we just didn’t let the wind or anything affect us,” Lawrence said. “We just played our game.
“We’ve got to be careful not to get caught on our heels, though. We have to be on our toes until the buzzer goes off.”
Freshman Alyssa Boles scored the first goal for the Cougars, who lost to Upper Iowa 2-1 and blanked Manhattan College 9-0 in their first two outings.
“We played better in the second half,” CCU coach Tammy Wishard said. “For us, it’s a matter of maturity. We didn’t play consistently until the last 15 minutes of the game.”