SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Senior Rachel Moore went coast-to-coast and scored the game-winning overtime goal to lift McMurry University over St. Mary’s University 2-1 Saturday evening in Heartland Conference action at Sigma Beta Chi Field.
This win is special to McMurry head women’s soccer coach Alan Riches. The War Hawks earned their sixth win of the 2013 campaign, which is a program record and a benchmark the team wanted to meet prior to the season.
“Since the end of the 2012 season it was a team goal to win more than five games and set a program record with most wins in a season,” Riches said. “It’s a great step forward for our program. It sets a bar for the rest of this season and the years to come.”
St. Mary’s has a rich tradition in women’s soccer and often compete for conference championships and is in the national championship hunt year-in and year-out. Riches believes matches against traditional powers will tell you a lot about a team.
“This is the biggest win we’ve had,” Riches said following the match. “St. Mary’s is a talented team and has an established Division II program. To beat a team that’s going to have a legit opportunity to compete for a (Heartland) conference championship and compete for a spot in the NCAA tournament is special.”
However, it looked early that St. Mary’s was going to institute its will.
Jamey Coronado scored less than two minutes into the first half to give the Rattlers (8-7-1, 5-3 Heartland) an early 1-0 lead.
The War Hawks responded 10 minutes later when Paige Harwell (Trophy Club, Texas/Northwest HS) scored off a rebound to tie it at 1-1.
“We allowed that early goal, but the girls didn’t panic or get down on themselves,” Riches said. “They continued to battle throughout and be patience and wait to make the most of our opportunities.”
Moore (Waco, Texas/Waco HS) has been on torrid streak of late, totaling three goals in the past two games.
“We battled them all night and fought hard. This win was all heart and dedication,” Moore said. “As a team we’ve clearly matured and when adversity strikes we know how to handle it now. It’s nice to get the goal that won the game for our team, but I’m just happy we won.”
Anissa Arenas (Lubbock, Texas/Coronado HS) played well in goal for the War Hawks. The freshman made a match-high 10 saves to keep Rattlers’ offense off kilter.
McM (6-7-1, 3-4-1) concludes its regular season Monday at Texas A&M International University.