Nov. 7, 2010

Courtesy of Hardin-Simmons

ABILENE, Texas — Hardin-Simmons' women's soccer team won its eighth straight American Southwest Conference title with a 4-1 win over Texas-Tyler on Sunday afternoon at the HSU Soccer Complex in Abilene.

Hardin-Simmons played with the wind at its back in the first half and HSU took advantage of it. The Cowgirls controlled the play with 17 shots in the half to just two for UT-Tyler.

Senior Erin Low, who had missed most of the season with a broken nose and got the start because of an injury put the Cowgirls out front early. She scored on a perfectly executed corner kick, that Katie Kuykendall sent across the box to Sarah Stansell, who headed it down to Low and she finished the goal.

HSU went ahead 2-0 when Katie Kuykendall scored on another great combination play in the box. Miranda Bersosa beat her girl down the line and sent it to Amy Kuykendall who one touched it to Katie for the goal at the 21:35 mark of the first half.

The Patriots did not have many chances in the first half, but they converted their big chance when Leah Solomon scored a corner kick from Analiz Medina to make it 2-1 at 27:58 of the first half.

Katie Kuykendall, who was named the tournament's most valuable player, finished off another goal at the 33:37 mark to make it 3-1 Cowgirls. It stayed that way until Amy Kuykendall was tackled in the box as she ran by her defender. She converted the penalty kick for her 26th goal of the season to make it 4-1 at 87:07.

Rebecca Roth, who is rarely challenged for much of the year, was superb in goal for the Cowgirls. She had fives saves, three of which were diving stops or punches away from sure goals. Tyler had most of the play with the strong wind at its back in the second half, but in the end managed only 12 shots on the day. Each team had seven shots on goal and each team had seven corner kicks.

The Cowgirls have given up only three goals on the year and just two in live play, but both have come against Texas-Tyler. HSU has outscored its opposition 102-3 on the year.

Hardin-Simmons is 19-0 and figures to be one of the top seeds in the NCAA Tournament when the pairings are announced on Monday. Texas-Tyler is now 14-5 and will wait word from NCAA Committee to see if they are picked for the tournament.