After an early scare, the No. 10 Fort Lewis College women’s soccer team got untracked and powered its way to a 4-2 victory over Texas A&M-Commerce on Sunday in Wichita Falls, Texas.
In a first half FLC head coach Damian Clarke described as “hectic,” the Skyhawks got on the board first when Megan Striedel put home an unassisted goal just 2:19 into the contest.
Brionna Minde quickly equalized, taking advantage of some miscommunication between the FLC defense and goalkeeper Caitlyn Espinosa to even the score less than 20 seconds after Striedel’s tally.
Commerce grabbed the lead in the 13th minute when Anitra Wright volleyed in Minde’s cross. Striedel, however, answered with her second goal of the game and the season off a feed from Elena Benavides just five minutes later.
“I think we were a little bit shell-shocked for a bit. ... When Striedel scored that second goal, that was good to get our feet under us and play a little bit better,” Clarke said.
The Skyhawks (2-0-0) took control after halftime. Lauren Riley’s free kick was mishandled by goalkeeper Allie Burks in the 59th minute to give FLC the lead, then Striedel fed Friday’s hero, Sam Weiss, to ice the game in the 84th minute.
“To be honest with you, if we can share (the scoring load), it takes a little bit of pressure off everyone,” Clarke said.
Espinosa again was spelled by Amanda Raso, this time at halftime after Espinosa jammed a finger, and Clarke said he was happy with the output of both of his goalkeepers this weekend, as well as the showings by freshmen Espinosa, Brooke Milliet, Laura Tita, Kate Sowell and Grace Sheridan, who all played significant minutes this weekend.
“We got a lot out of our freshmen the entire weekend. I thought our freshmen performed well,” Clarke said.
The Skyhawks next game will be their home opener, which comes at noon Sunday against Angelo State at Dirks Field.