The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Islanders women’s soccer team pulled off an overtime win in their match against the St. Edwards University Hilltoppers on April 7 as they crossed the midway point of their four-game spring season.
Coming off of a loss at home to the University of Texas Longhorns, the Islanders improved their spring record to 2-1 with a 1-0 OT victory over the Hilltoppers.
As the whistle blew to kick off the first half, conditions on the field were cold, damp and windy. With temperatures in the lower 50s, winds gusting into the mid-30s and light rain falling, supporters were bundled up as they caught a preview of what to expect for the next season.
The first half produced a couple of decent scoring opportunities for the Hilltoppers, who were taking advantage of having the wind to their backs early on. Things were a bit quieter on the Islanders’ end as they mostly sat back and defended SEU’s attack-heavy style of play. Freshman goalkeeper Kyleigh Hall made one save as both teams finished a scoreless first half with one shot each.
With the wind now to their backs after switching sides at halftime, the Islanders adopted a more up-front possession/counter attack style of play that would dictate the tempo of the second half. Playing mostly through their defenders and midfielders, the Islanders permeated SEU’s tight back line with short, quick runs up field that caught the opposing offside trap off guard on several occasions. Despite this burst of offensive effort by the Islanders, the second half would come to a scoreless end sending the game into a decisive 30-minute overtime.
With the wind to their backs once again, SEU looked to score early in the overtime period with a couple of shots from outside the box that were handled well by Hall. The Islanders used this pressing style of play by the Hilltoppers to launch a counter- attack that would produce the game’s only goal.
With a 1-0 lead midway through the overtime period, the Islanders picked up the tempo on offense once again as they switched sides to the downwind half of the field. Using a possession-based style of play to kill the remaining few minutes of game time, the Islanders’ smothered the few chances SEU had left, earning them a 1-0 victory.
Islanders head coach Craig Shaw’s side will face the 26th ranked Baylor Bears on April 14 after testing the team’s ability earlier in the pre- season of the most recent 2017 cam- paign. The Islanders kept the game within one goal into the 85th minute of the two’s August matchup before falling to the eventual Big 12 Tournament Champions 2-0. You can catch this spring season finale here at the Dr. Jack Dugan Soccer and Track & Field Stadium on Saturday, April 14 at 3 p.m.