A hand ball in the final seconds of the first overtime provided Midwestern State just the opportunity it needed to upend No. 24 Texas A&M-Commerce 3-2 here Sunday afternoon.
"They really outplayed us today. I credit our girls for hanging in there," MSU coach Jeff Trimble said. "They put a lot of pressure on you, but we survived and kept fighting."
It was the third consecutive win for the Mustangs, who improved to 7-3 overall and to 2-1 in Lone Star Conference play, while A&M-Commerce dropped its second straight game to fall to 5-3-1 and 1-2-1 despite controlling an overwhelming 21-8 edge in shots and a 10-2 advantage on corner kicks.
"They really dictated play and we were able to take advantage of our opportunities," Trimble said. "We have to learn from this one but it's fun to learn from wins."
Griffiths, a senior from Dallas, played a key role in a gritty win for the Mustangs.
She gathered in a cross from fellow senior Mickey Brown in the closing seconds of the first overtime and launched a shot toward the A&M-Commerce goal.
"Mickey fought for the ball down in the corner and crossed it," Trimble said. "They failed to-cleared it twice, then one of their girls stuck her hand out and stopped out. It was bizarre."
Griffiths converted the penalty kick tucking it into the right corner of the net to secure the victory.
"Tatyanny did some really smart things today and played very well," Trimble said. "She was involved in all three goals."
Griffiths also gave the Mustangs their first lead of the game when A&M-Commerce goalkeeper Callie Ballard mishandled a point blank shot off of the Katy Catney's boot in the 21st minute. Griffiths followed by chipping it in from 6 yards out for her second goal of the season.
The Lions countered with a goal off of a penalty kick by Vicky Back after MSU goalkeeper Kallie Essary earned a caution challenging on a breakaway opportunity to knot the match at 1-1 going into intermission.
A&M-Commerce would take the lead on a long strike from 30 yards out by Savannah Henderson in the 76th minute.
"They put in a beautiful ball on the frame. It was a great shot with a lot of distraction going on in front of Kallie," Trimble said. "There was not much she could do about it. It was a great driven ball with a ton of distraction."
That lead lasted all of about three minutes as the Mustangs took advantage of a restart in the 79th minute.
Griffiths struck a serve off of a free kick from 25 yards which was mishandled by Ballard. Sophomore defender Alex Edwards collected the rebounded and slammed it back off of the keeper before finding the net on her second try.
It was Edwards' first collegiate goal in just her second game back since returning from a preseason injury.
"Alex played really well in the back today and had a great game," Trimble said.
Midwestern opens a four-match home stand with a pair of games next weekend at the MSU Soccer Field. The Mustangs play host to Eastern New Mexico Friday at 6 p.m. before squaring off with West Texas A&M Sunday at 1 p.m. in the First United Bank Highway 287 Challenge series.