By Dave Wagner
The 2013 Eastern New Mexico University women’s soccer team is in the NCAA Division II record books, although the Zias don’t necessarily have a lot to show for it.
ENMU played its 10th overtime match of the season on Friday, tying the D-II mark set in 2007 by Newberry College (S.C.), in battling Lone Star Conference leader Angelo State to a scoreless draw at the ENMU pitch.
While they haven’t had a lot of luck in extra sessions, the Zias have shown they can play with the better teams on their schedule, including ASU.
In fact, ENMU (4-5-5, 1-2-4 LSC) is 4-0 in matches that end in regulation, and 0-5-5 in the ones that don’t. All but two of the overtime outings have gone to the maximum 2 OTs, including the last four.
It was also the Zias’ second consecutive scoreless tie.
“Eastern’s been good at not giving up too much at home,” said sixth-year ASU coach Travis McCorkle, who started the ENMU women’s program in 2003 and its men’s program the following year. “They do a good job of making things difficult for opponents.
“It was tough conditions for both teams with the midfield so crowded. I think we created the better opportunities, and we probably should be disappointed not to get the (win).”
Neither team had many good scoring looks in this one, although the Rambelles (10-3-2, 6-1-1) had an 11-6 edge in total shots and a 6-3 margin in shots on goal. The teams nearly went the distance in the earlier meeting on Oct. 13 in San Angelo, Texas, but ASU pulled out a 1-0 victory on a goal by Sierra Anderson early in the second sudden-death OT.
“The last game (at Angelo), I think they had the upper hand, but this game we fought for it a lot more,” sophomore midfielder Danielle Caro said. “We just need to capitalize on our chances.
“I think it’s more frustrating to lose in overtime (than in regulation) because it shows you don’t have that grit and (don’t) want it enough.”
ENMU was without coach Todd Padgett, sitting out the second of a two-game suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards and a red card. The Zias also played without starting forwards Maurisa Jones and Brook Serrano, both sidelined by injury.
Assistant coach Fanta Cooper said Padgett will be back for Sunday’s 1 p.m. home finale against Midwestern State, and perhaps Jones and Serrano will also be able to return.
“It’s frustrating (not to be able to win in OT),” Cooper said, “but maybe in the conference tournament it’ll pay off for us.
“I thought we played pretty well today, and we played pretty well over there. We showed (without Jones and Serrano) that we’re still able to play.”
The Zias’ best chances came in the final five minutes of the second OT. Sophomore forward Carolyn Armijo made a sliding attempt from about 10 yards out, but misshit it slightly and goalkeeper Danielle Edwards made a relatively easy save.
Then with seven seconds left, freshman forward Grace Tolson was fouled just outside the penalty box, and a yellow card was called on the Rambelle’s Brittany Martinez, but senior midfielder Gerilyn Armillo’s free-kick shot was deflected by Edwards off the crossbar.