Sophomore defender Victoria Perez scored two first-half goals and Eastern New Mexico University never looked back on Friday in posting a 3-1 Lone Star Conference women's soccer victory over Incarnate Word at the ENMU pitch.
Freshman midfielder Jackie Perez (no relation) assisted on all three Zias goals as ENMU (4-6, 3-3 LSC) jumped ahead of the Cardinals (2-5, 2-3) in the LSC standings.
Victoria Perez broke the scoring ice in the 31st minute and made it 2-0 with about five minutes left in the half, scoring both times off corner kicks from Jackie Perez.
UIW stepped up the pressure in the second half, firing 13 shots — five on goal — to just three for ENMU. The Cardinals cut the lead in half nearly midway through the period when Jazma Latu found the back of the net on a rebound after ENMU freshman goalkeeper Xan Ortiz couldn't maintain control of a shot by the Cardinals' Samantha Johnson.
That was it for Incarnate, though, and senior midfielder Danielle Thurman restored a two-goal margin in the 81st minute when she took a through pass from Jackie Perez and beat UIW goalkeeper Heather Kowalik for her fourth goal of the season.
Ortiz finished with seven saves in the match. The Zias, who have generally been tough on their home turf over the years, improved to 3-1 at home this fall.
The Zias return to action on Sunday with a 1 p.m. conference home matchup against Angelo State.