Late goal lifts ENMU past Mavericks 1-0


Last updated 9/11/2021 at 4:32pm

GUNNISON, Colo. — Sophomore midfielder Selena Casias punched home the first goal of her collegiate career with just over three minutes left on Friday, and the Eastern New Mexico University women’s soccer squad edged Western Colorado 1-0.

The teams waged a tight, competitive defensive struggle before Casias broke through late for an unassisted tally against Mountaineers senior goalkeeper Kaeyla Noble.

Senior Whitney Dockweiler had four saves in goal to earn the shutout for the Greyhounds (2-1), while Nolate finished with seven saves for Western Colorado (2-1).

The Hounds play the fourth of five season-opening matches against Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference teams today when they welcome Fort Lewis in an 11 a.m. start at Greyhound Stadium.

Hounds absorb pair of setbacks — The ENMU women’s volleyball team dropped a pair of matches on Friday in Midwestern State’s Hampton Inn-vitational at Wichita Falls, Texas, losing to Arkansas Tech 27-25, 25-22, 26-24 and to the host Mustangs 25-22, 25-18, 25-23.

The event was originally scheduled to be a five-team round-robin, but Texas A&M-Kingsville canceled out earlier in the week due to COVID-19 protocols. The ENMU-MSU match was thus moved from Saturday morning to Friday afternoon.

The Hounds (0-6) were to complete their participation in the event with an afternoon match on Saturday against No. 22 Colorado Mesa.

ENMU made improvement against Arkansas Tech (3-1) from last weekend’s season-opening Lady Patriot Invitational, hosted by Dallas Baptist. In that one, the Golden Suns posted a 25-20, 25-21, 25-8 victory over the Hounds.

This time, all three sets were close. In fact, neither team led by more than two points until late Game 3, when Arkansas Tech briefly went up by three.

ENMU used a 5-0 run to open a 9-5 lead in the first set, featuring two kills from sophomore middle blocker Gracelyn Stubbs and a solo block by freshman outside hitter Kali Nelson. The Golden Suns, though, responded with the next six points to regain the lead.

ENMU led late at 21-19 and 22-21, then pulled even 24-24 on a kill by senior outside hitter Jasmine Gannon. Golden Suns senior middle blocker Emily Ragsdale converted a kill and a service ace, though, to put ATU up 2-0 in games.

In the third set, Ragsdale’s kill made it 13-11 for the Golden Suns, the first time the teams were separated by more than a point. ENMU tied it three more times before Arkansas Tech tallied three points for a 21-18.

ENMU rallied for three more ties before Golden Suns finished it off with a kill by junior setter Brianna Merkle and an ace from senior defensive specialist/libero Maggie Schlueter.

Stubbs and freshman outside hitter Mikaela Garvin each had nine kills for the Hounds, while Nelson collected eight. Stubbs also had four block assists.

Senior outside hitter/defensive specialist Tymber Riley had 11 kills for Arkansas Tech, while junior setter Brianna Merkel had 35 assists.

In the second match, MSU (1-6) was able to prevail in a battle of winless Lone Star Conference teams behind 13 kills from sophomore outside hitter Lauryn Bourne and 11 each from senior middle blocker Lissette Lefforge and junior outside hitter Kaitlyn Stoker.

The Mustangs bolted to a 12-5 lead in the first game after a kill by Bourne. ENMU got within two points late after a service error by Bourne, but Lefforge followed that with a kill on set point.

ENMU led 1-0 on a Mustangs service error to start Game 2, but MSU took control with an 8-1 run for a 10-3 lead and never looked back.

Junior Rae Sapiga started Game 3 with an ace for the Hounds, and sister Qitana Sapiga’s ace made it 8-5. ENMU still led 18-17 after a kill by Stubbs, but Midwestern State earned the next four points and held on, finishing it with a kill by Bourne on match point.


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