Texas A&M-Commerce cashed in on its opportunity in overtime to send Midwestern State to its first loss of the season, 2-1, Sunday afternoon at the MSU Soccer Field.
"Obviously, you don't want to lose a game, but without a doubt that's the most complete game we've put together all year long," MSU coach Damian Clarke said.
The setback was the first regular season loss for MSU since the Mustangs dropped a 1-0 result to the Lions on Oct 18, 2013 -- a span of 15 matches, but Clarke sees the potential moving forward.
"Maybe sometimes you have to lose to get better. I would rather have lost that game than tied it while trying to sit in and hold on to something," he said. "To come back against a Commerce team who tactically is always a difficult team to play. I think it was obvious that we can play.
That's the first time I've seen the girls be confident from back to front and put things together like we train. Not just big balls over the top, but with passing combinations that made us look like a footballing team. I think we improved great a bunch today."
Texas A&M-Commerce converted the first real opportunity of the match resulting from a foul just outside of the box in the 24th minute.
Sophomore forward Savannah Henderson curled her ninth goal of the season on a free kick just inside the far post from 20 yards on a well struck bounding shot to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.
Midwestern State struck from the equalizer in similar fashion as junior Morgan Hannon was taken down in the box resulting in a penalty kick in the 56th minute of play.
The Midland native knocked in her second tally of the season going to the right of A&M-Commerce goalkeeper Courtnie Northern to send the Mustangs to overtime for the sixth time this season.
But Jade Bell got behind the MSU defense and worked the ball from the right wing to the touch line before sending a cross to Henderson, who tapped her 10th goal of the season for the game winner eight minutes into the extra session.
"(A&M-Commerce coach) Neil (Peiper) is a good coach and coaches well to the talent that he has. Obviously, he did a good job to sneak that result," Clarke said. "They got behind us a few times and then the one time they do it in overtime, it was just enough."
Midwestern finished with a slim 16-15 edge in shots while placing seven on frame.
"The opportunities that we created were in my opinion a different level for Midwestern today," Clarke said. "I am excited about what next weekend brings us because we will be hungry to win now."