It took all of nine seconds for Midwestern State to move the ball from the mid line to the back of the net courtesy of a Len Smith header Tuesday night at the MSU Soccer Field.
Smith added another to push the Mustangs to a 4-0 win over strong NAIA contender Southwestern Christian (Okla.) to improve to 10-2-2 on the season.
"It was good to get the 10th win tonight," MSU coach Doug Elder said. "We played pretty well tonight. We created chances and the defense held strong. This team had scored a lot of goals."
The Eagles brought NAIA Division I's sixth best attack into the game averaging 3.70 goals per game, but the Mustangs limited SCU to just two shots.
The win also extended MSU's run of 10-win seasons to 16 with 15 of those coming under Elder's tutelage.
The Mustangs certainly didn't take long to assert their will as junior midfielder Ben Clarvis took advantage of a defensive slip right from the whistle to fire a cross into the box for his team leading seventh assist of the season resulting in Smith's fifth goal of the season.
Smith tacked on his sixth goal on a deft pass from junior striker Albert Rodriguez in the 21st minute to double MSU's advantage.
"We combined our chances better today," Elder said. "I tell our midfield every game they are going to win or lose us the game. I hate to give them that pressure but they are the ones who create opportunities for us."
Rodriguez tacked on his fourth goal of the season on a serve from the top of the box in the 62nd minute, then senior defender Chase Robertson blasted in his third tally of the campaign off of a free kick from 20 yards out to close out scoring in the 73rd minute.
"I am happy with the win, but we have some tough road games left," Elder said. "We still have a lot of soccer to play."
Midwestern battles Texas A&M International Saturday night in Laredo before returning for its last home match of the season Monday night against Eastern New Mexico.
Southwestern Christian fell to 10-3-1.
Midwestern State is receiving votes in the latest Continental Tire Division II Top 25 released Tuesday afternoon by the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America.
The Mustangs had their unbeaten streak snapped at 11 taking a 3-1 setback at 16th-ranked St. Edward's Saturday afternoon in Austin.
Midwestern is one of four teams from a tightly packed, competitive South Central Region to receive mention in the poll joining No. 10 Colorado Mesa, No. 14 Regis (Colo.) and No. 16 St. Edward's (Texas).
Southern New Hampshire (12-0-1) maintained its hold on the top spot followed by Charleston (W. Va.), Seattle Pacific (Wash.), Lynn (Fla.), Young Harris (Ga.), Quincy (Ill.), Southern Connecticut State, Cal Poly Pomona, Saint Leo (Fla.) and Colorado Mesa to round out the Top 10.
No. 25-ranked West Texas A&M added to Midwestern State's woes Tuesday night sending the Mustangs to their fifth consecutive loss 25-13, 25-17, 25-15 at WTAMU Fieldhouse.
The win extended the Lady Buffs' LSC winning streak to 34 matches and increased WT's lead in the Highway 287 Challenge Cup series to 5-1 this season.
The loss was MSU's 16th in its last 18 matches as the Mustangs fell to 6-17 on the season and to 2-10 in league play.
West Texas A&M (21-3, 12-0) pinned the third best offensive effort of the season against MSU slamming down a .324 hitting performance joining the Tarleton State as the only two teams to hit better than .300 against the Mustangs this season.
Senior outside hitter Lauren Bevan put down a match-high 14 kills while completing a double-double with 12 digs to lead the Lady Buffs, while senior right-side hitter/setter Kameryn Hayes neared a triple-double with 10 kills, 20 set assists and eight digs.
The Mustangs battled hard in the second set leading by as many as 11-8 and led as late as 13-11 before WT responded with a 6-0 run to grasp control of the stanza.
MSU has logged five consecutive team hitting performances of .126 or worse while logging a .058 team kill rate against the Lady Buffs.
Junior outside hitter Nicole Marzik led the way with seven kills to go along with eight digs, while freshman outside hitter Meghan Bettis had six kills.
Sophomore defensive specialist Madelyn Johnson had 10 digs to pace back row efforts.
Midwestern State kicks off a three-match home stand Friday night at 5:30 p.m. against Texas A&M-Commerce before taking on Texas Woman's Saturday at 2 p.m.
Midwestern State remained fourth in the South Central Region rankings for the fifth consecutive week as released Tuesday afternoon by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association.
The Mustangs claimed their second meet win of the season at the MSU Cross Country Carnival Saturday morning at the former Hawk Ridge Golf Course.
Senior Gabby Ruiz took second covering the hilly 6K course in a personal best time of 22:20.00 while Michelle Krezonoski (22:33.80/3rd), Emma Ramirez (23:05.80/8th), Brittany Adams (23:10.60/9th) and Kim Krezonoski (23:29.60/11th) also turned in countable finishes for the Mustangs.
The top six remained the same with No. 1 Adams State (Colo.), No. 2 Western State Colorado, No. 3 Colorado-Colorado Springs, No. 4 MSU, No. 5 Metropolitan State and No. 6 West Texas A&M maintaining the status quo.
Colorado Mines provided the lone change by jumping Colorado Mesa at the Nos. 7 and 8 positions while No. 9 Dallas Baptist (Texas) and No. 10 Chadron State (Neb.) rounded out the rankings.