Senior forward Lindsay Pritchard drilled in her seventh goal of the season to carry Midwestern State to a 1-0 win over St. Edward's (Texas) in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Regionals Friday afternoon at the Wildcat Soccer Pitch.
The landmark result was the first NCAA postseason win for the Mustangs, who advance to the second round Sunday afternoon against host Abilene Christian. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.
"By no means are we satisfied," MSU coach Jeff Trimble said. "We feel good about getting that first NCAA soccer win and I'm proud of the girls. They are excited about the win, but more eager for the next game."
Midwestern State handed ACU its lone loss of the season by scoring two goals in the final 15 minutes of the match as the Mustangs claimed their first Lone Star Conference title since 1998 taking a 2-1 result.
It was MSU's second come-from-behind win in as many games at the LSC Championship and it appeared the Mustangs were going to need the same magic early against the Hilltoppers.
"They really pressure the ball and we had a tough time adjusting to it in the first 10 minutes," Trimble said.
St. Edward's sophomore senior forward Kelly Servage got behind the MSU defense in the match's fourth minute and had MSU goalkeeper Mallory Whitworth beaten but junior defender Berklee Dressler cleared the ball off of the line.
The ball went back to Servage who crushed another shot on frame which caromed off of Whitworth to SEU's Kate Orkild, who sent the ball over the cross bar.
"We really dodged a bullet there," Trimble said.
Then in the 22nd minute, Pritchard gathered in a clear on the right wing.
"She was looking to play it to the back post, but she drove it hard," Trimble said. "The keeper made a play on it and it hit the post and went in. If she wouldn't have struck it hard, there wouldn't be a goal."
The Mustangs survived a 9-5 barrage by SEU in the opening half before settling in to create opportunities on a counter attack.
Midwestern State will face Abilene Christian for the fourth time this season as the Wildcats claimed both regular season matchups by 1-goal margins.
"We know then and they know us, but familiarity is a good thing for us," Trimble said. "We're playing really good soccer right now."
The winner of the fourth MSU/ACU match will battle the victor of the Dallas Baptist/Central Oklahoma clash for the region championship at a site and time to be determined.
St. Edward's closes the season at 15-3-1.
Midwestern State buried Mid-America Christian with a 3-point barrage in a 100-63 season opening win Friday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum in Nelson Haggerty's head coaching debut.
The Mustangs host Science and Arts (Okla.) Monday night at 7 p.m. heading to the Colorado State-Pueblo Al Kaly Classic next weekend.
Redshirt-freshman Matt Gallagher led the way with 19 points and was a near-perfect 8-of-9 from the field including three 3-pointers to lead a pack of four Mustangs in double figures.
Midwestern State scored the first 11 points of the game and pushed the bulge to 28 when freshman guard Derrell Gibbs buried a 3-pointer with 1:11 left until intermission.
Gallagher keyed an 8-2 run midway through the second with a trey and a jumper while junior guard DeJuan Plummer splashed in another 3 to help the Mustangs build its largest lead of the night at 82-39 with 11:06 to play.
Junior guard JaMichael Rivers connected on 7-of-10 shots from the field to finish with 15 points, five assists and three steals, while senior guard Michael Loyd pitched 13 points and six assists.
Senior forward Chris Buttermore added 11 points and seven rebounds and junior forward Anthony Harris narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.
Reserve guard Charlie Shorter paced Mid-America Christian with 17 points on 7-of-18 shooting, while 6-9 senior center George Haynes had 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots.
The Evangels fell to 2-1 on the season.