Midwestern State fired in a pair of rapid fire goals in the first half then hung on for a 2-1 win over 15th-ranked West Texas A&M Tuesday night at the MSU Soccer Field.
"It was the usual WT/Midwestern brawl on the field," MSU coach Doug Elder said. "Any time you get a win over that team, it's a big deal. Now, we have another big test in front of us on Saturday."
The result extended MSU's unbeaten streak to seven games as the Mustangs improved to 7-3-1 on the season. It was their third straight win over a ranked opponent -- all in the last four games.
Midwestern now heads to Austin to take on No. 4-ranked St. Edward's (Texas) Saturday at Lewis-Chen Field. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. The Hilltoppers claimed a 2-1 overtime win over the Mustangs last month in Wichita Falls. MSU hasn't lost since.
The Mustangs jumped all over West Texas A&M early.
Junior defender Chase Robertson grasped control of a loose ball on the run near the center line, traveled and blasted a shot just under the crossbar from 30 yards out to give the Mustangs a quick 1-0 lead in the 20th minute.
A mere 67 seconds later, sophomore defender Javan Toledo led junior forward Dan Johns with a through ball down the right wing. Johns made a quick touch in the box then beat WT goalkeeper Garrett Cooper with a hard shot to the far post for a commanding two-goal lead just over 21 minutes into the match.
"After we scored our two goals, they really took it to us for a little bit. I think we thought it was over and let them have a few chances," Elder said.
The Buffs took advantage of a couple of MSU miscues in their offensive third as Vitor Cardoso worked his way free to beat MSU goalkeeper Nick Petolick from close range to pull West Texas A&M back into arm's length in the 34th minute.
The teams would exchange salvos for the remainder of the match with WT holding a slim 15-14 shot advantage in a closely matched contest.
"They expended a lot of energy trying to come back from an early two-goal deficit. You have to give credit to them. They never started pressing, never hung their heads and never gave up. They just went at us for 90 minutes," Elder said. "We responded well in the second half and played better defensively. We didn't give them a whole lot after intermission."
The Mustangs current run of wins against nationally ranked opponents started with a 1-0 win in overtime at then-No. 12 West Texas A&M. MSU followed with a 2-1 decision over No. 5 Northeastern State before beating the Buffs again Tuesday night.
West Texas A&M fell to 9-3 on the season.
Midwestern State junior Brenna Moore's school record performance on Tuesday led
the Mustangs to a fourth place finish at the Dallas Baptist
Moore's 3-under-par 69 on the par 72, 5,879 yard Golf Club of Dallas, equaled her own MSU record for score versus par, while tying for second as the all-time low round. It matched her freshman year 3-under 67 at the par 70 Lincoln Park East Golf Course in the UCO Classic as the low score against par, and matched Lindsay Burkhart's 69 at the LSC Championships in 2011.
Her final round gave her a total of 4-under 140 to place second individually, two strokes behind Arkansas Tech's Rebecka Surtevall. Moore's 4-under total is a new school mark for 36 holes vs. par, bettering two other tournaments where she finished 2-under par.
Moore's finished helped MSU post a 302 in the final round for a 614 team score to finish fourth overall. St. Edward's won the event at 600, with Tarleton State adding a 608 and Arkansas Tech a 609 in the 15-team tournament.
Mustangs freshmen Hayley Dambold and Sierra Campbell tied for 20th, each with a 157. Dambold fired a 2-over 74 in the final rounds, while Campbell posted a 6-over 78. Freshman Kellie Martin added an 81 for a 160 final, with sophomore Kynzie Mann carding an 84 to finish at 172.
Freshman Caitlan Inman put up an 86 in last round play to total 180 while playing as an individual.
Midwestern has one final tournament on the fall schedule, next Monday and Tuesday at the Oklahoma Intercollegiate hosted by Cameron at the Fort Sill Golf Club.
Fighting a strong, north wind and rain, the Midwestern State Mustangs finished
10th after the final round of The Territory Classic on Tuesday
The Mustangs added a 312 to go with their first round 316 to finish at 628, a stroke behind Dallas Baptist in ninth at 627 and three better than Newman in 12th at 631.
Midwestern junior Derek Oland struggled to a five-over-par 77 on Tuesday, to finish 17th at 9-over 153.
The day's best round for the Mustangs came from sophomore Colton Kowalick who shot a four-over 76 and paced 24th at 155.
"We played in some tough, cold conditions today," said MSU Coach Jeff Ray. "Colton Kowalick was impressive off the tee today. This was his first tournament of the year and did a great job."
Sophomore Brandon Banks posted a 79 in the final round to finish at 163, while freshman Jared Baker put up an 80 to finish at 167. Senior Julio Gonzalez-Galvan stumbled to an 82 in the last round to finish at 159.
"It was one of those days today," said Ray. "Everyone had a couple of bad holes. But that happens in golf."
St. Edward's won the team competition handily with an 11-over 587. Incarnate Word was second at 606, while West Texas A&M was third at 613 in the 15-team tournament.
Individually, Newman's James Bolton fired a 2-under 70 in the final round to tally a 1-under 143 to edge out St. Ed's Andres Rodas at even-par 144. St. Ed's Dillon Van Essen and Incarnate Word's Austin Wylie tied for third at 1-over 145.
Midwestern State closes the fall season with The Classic at the Tribute on October 28-29 at The Tribute Golf Club in The Colony.
Midwestern State's Casey Fletcher garnered Lone Star Conference Defensive Player
of the Week honors Tuesday when league officials announced weekly
Her strong play on the back line helped the Mustangs to a pair of road wins last week as the junior defensive specialist from Eddy recorded a campaign-best 29 digs to lead MSU to a 3-2 win over Great American Conference leading Southern Nazarene Tuesday night in Bethany, Okla.
Fletcher followed with a 17-dig effort in Midwestern's four-set win over Texas A&M-Kingsville on Saturday.
Fletcher averaged 6.57 digs per set while helping the Mustangs limit the opposition to a .182 team attack percentage. She now ranks third in the league with 4.70 digs per set for the season.
West Texas A&M senior Laura Iwuchukwu also gained top defensive honors after notching 10 total blocks in wins over Texas A&M-Commerce and Texas Woman's.
WT's Halie Harton and A&M-C's Amy Devault gained top offensive honors while WT's Kameryn Hayes and TWU's Kayla Rivero garnered top setter mention.
Midwestern State hits the road to face West Texas A&M on Saturday before closing the weekend at Eastern New Mexico on Saturday.