Abilene Christian collected a carom in the midfield converted it into a quick strike goal in the 15th minute to provide the difference in a 1-0 decision over Midwestern State Tuesday night at the MSU Soccer Field.
The Wildcats improved to 5-0-1 competing in their first season as an NCAA Division I member of the Southland Conference, while Midwestern (1-2) managed just 12 shots and were unable to sustain an attack placing no shots on frame.
"That's the thing that concerns me the most is we're having a hard time getting into an offensive rhythm," MSU coach Jeff Trimble said. "It's been the third game in a row now so we're going to have to make some changes. Whether we were 3-0, 1-2 or 1-3, at time we play some really good soccer but one thing we haven't done is get into a rhythm offensively."
MSU's best chance came on a free kick from 25 yards on the right wing in the 30th minute. Junior midfielder Katy Catney's serve found Ashley Cottrell who was running onto the ball toward the near post, but she was unable to connect cleanly with the ball.
The equalizing opportunity would have offset ACU's opportunistic tally as senior forward Andrea Carpenter collected a carom off of a blocked shot and threaded a through ball down the right side to Emily Sumrall, who chipped the ball over a charging Kallie Essary.
The Wildcats were on the verge of pushing the advantage to two goals in the 54th minute, but Sumrall missed an open net banging the ball off of the crossbar. The ball settled to Carpenter's feet as the former D-2 All-American hammered the ball into the far post allowing the Mustangs to remain within a goal.
MSU was unable to get into the flow to create many dangerous chances as many of its 12 shots were blocked and most were from outside of the 18-yard box.
"I hope it's youth," Trimble said. "They know to make the runs, but they unsure of when to do it. We will simplify and get it fixed. We've got good players, good coaches and good staff so we can get on the right track."
Midwestern hits the road to take on Oklahoma Christian Saturday night in Oklahoma City. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.