Six different Midwestern State players found the back of the net in a convincing 6-0 win over Oklahoma Christian Tuesday night at the MSU Soccer Field.
It was the second straight win for the Mustangs, who used the onslaught over an injury-plagued and overmatched OC squad to improve to 2-0-3 on the season.
"It always helps to score goals and feel good in front of the goal," MSU coach Damian Clarke said. "In the same sense, the team that we played against has been decimated by injury. They've had a rough go of things. We shouldn't walk away from this thinking we've done something fantastic."
On the other hand, MSU reached deep into its bench to play 23 girls but still found the focus to finish off its fourth consecutive clean sheet.
"I am most proud of the fact that we still maintained the shutout. That's four games in a row that we've not conceded a goal," Clarke said. "That doesn't happen very often in this game, so that's a big piece."
Sophomore midfielder Nicole Coetzer gave the Mustangs the early advantage blasting in a shot from 15 yards out in the sixth minute, then senior midfielder Katy Catney got loose on a nicely struck through ball from freshman Destinee Williamson four minutes later to double the advantage.
Sophomore midfielder Alyssa Parkhill finished off a Stephanie Bonilla cross from the right wing in the 34th minute and junior Payton Fookes dribbled past two defenders and the OC goalkeeper for a her first goal of the season in the 38th minute to send the Mustangs intermission with a four-goal lead.
Junior striker Ashley Cottrell got on the board in the 68th minute and Bonilla tacked another goal in the 84th minute to close out scoring.
Redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Courtney Burnette extended her shutout streak to four games and 411 minutes by making five saves.
We needed to win the game and obviously we did it convincingly," Clarke said. "We had a lull here and there and we didn't concede. That's important."
Midwestern State takes on Lubbock Christian Friday night at the MSU Soccer Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Midwestern State rode a three-match winning back into the National Soccer Coaches' Association NCAA Division II Top 25 re-entering at No. 20 as released Tuesday afternoon.
The Mustangs improved to 3-1 after taking a pair of matches over Colorado-Colorado Springs (2-0) and Lubbock Christian (4-0) at the MSU Soccer Field.
MSU in one of four teams from the South Central Region to receive mention in the poll joining No. 6 Regis (Colo.) and No. 14 Metropolitan State (Colo.) while Colorado Mines is receiving votes.
Defending regional champion Regis won its first two matches of the season on the road taking a 2-0 result at Rogers State (Okla.) before upending then-No. 7 ranked Northeastern State (Okla.) 2-1 in Tahlequah.
Metropolitan State rolled to 3-0 taking road victories at St. Edward's (Texas) (2-1) and Dallas Baptist (Texas) (4-1), while Colorado Mines improved to 2-1 with road wins over Northeastern State (2-1) and Oklahoma Christian (4-0).
Southern New Hampshire maintained its hold on the top spot, while Saginaw Valley State (Mich.), Limestone (S.C.), Charleston (W. Va.) and Chico State (Calif.) round out the first five.
Midwestern State hits the road to take on Newman (Kan.) Friday night in Wichita before returning home to face St. Mary's (Texas) at noon on Sunday.
Midwestern State's Nicole Marzik and Hunter Porter combined for 29 kills to help the Mustangs rally to force a fifth set before Oklahoma Christian came away with a 20-25, 25-14, 25-17, 17-25, 15-13 win Tuesday night at Sawyer Center.
It was the fourth straight loss for the Mustangs, who fell to 4-5 on the season.
Hot starting Midwestern got five of Marzik's team high 15 kills to fuel 16 total team kills and a .267 overall hitting percentage to give the Mustangs the early advantage.
But Southern Nazarene came alive to blister the ball at a .310 clip over the next two set and appeared to have the match under control until the Mustangs responded with a solid fourth set.
Porter, who finished with 14 kills, put down five kills in the fourth set as the Mustangs limited the Crimson Storm to 24 total attacks for a fifth and deciding set.
Southern Nazarene built up a 12-6 lead in the fifth set before holding on to clinch the match 15-13.
Sophomore middle blocker Sarah Garfield completed a solid all-around match with nine kills and seven blocks, while Marzik polished off her fifth double-double of the season with 11 digs.
Senior libero Casey Fletcher led back row play with 23 digs while sophomore setter Sarah Rosinke notched her third double-double with 35 set assists and 13 digs.
Sophomore defensive specialist Madelyn Johnson had 12 digs and two service aces.
Taylor Jacobs put down 19 kills to lead Southern Nazarene which improved to 7-2.
Midwestern State returns to Lone Star Conference with a pair of matches this weekend. The Mustangs take on Texas Woman's Friday night in Denton before traveling to face Texas A&M-Commerce on Saturday. Both matches start at 7 p.m.
Midwestern State held steady in the second round and finished fourth in the Angelo State Concho River Classic on Tuesday at the Bentwood Country Club.
The Mustangs collectively shot a 315 in the final round to finish at 626, two strokes ahead of St. Mary's who finished fifth at 628.
Newman (Kan.) was first and Tarleton State second, both with a 606. But Newman won the tiebreaker based on the fifth player scores. St. Edward's was third at 620.
"We had a rough start today and did seem to find our focus until well into the round," said MSU Coach Jeff Ray. "Our expectations are high this year, and we're a bit disappointed."
MSU senior Brenna Moore and sophomore Sierra Campbell finished in a pack tied for 8th overall at 154. Moore fired a 3-over-par 75 in the final round, while Campbell chalked up a 4-over 76 on the par 72, 5,882 Bentwood course. The duo was one stroke ahead of freshman Sarah Moore who carded a 7-over 79 for a 155, tied for 16th.
Junior Kynze Mann finished at 163 after an 86 on Tuesday, while sophomore Hayley Dambold posted a 167 after an 85 in the last round.
"It's a first tournament, so it's not the end of the world," said Ray. "We've got a lot of talent and we have some things we can fix."
Individually, Tarleton State's Isabell Jimenez Perea and Casey Wild tied for top honors. Each tallied a 1-over 145 for the tournament, two strokes ahead of St. Mary's Allison Howarth at 3-over 147.