#11 Mustangs clinch Heartland title; Styles named LSC Coach of t - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

#11 Mustangs clinch Heartland title; Styles named LSC Coach of the Year

Gabriel Cavalcante scored MSU's first goal Thursday, his 7th of the season / Source: KAUZ Gabriel Cavalcante scored MSU's first goal Thursday, his 7th of the season / Source: KAUZ

Mustangs Claim Heartland Conference title

Midwestern State came away with the 2016 Heartland Conference regular season title Thursday evening at MSU Soccer Field with the 11th-ranked Mustangs recording a dominant 4-0 win over Newman (Kan.) to earn the crown in its inaugural season while capturing the program's 10th conference championship. 
 
Midwestern State (14-2-1, 12-1-0) avenged its lone conference loss to Newman last month in Wichita, Kan., relying on a first half game winner from Gabriel Cavalcante before erupting for a trio of scores in the second period to walk away with its ninth-straight win. The Mustangs also posted their sixth-straight shutout and eighth clean sheet in the last nine outings after holding Newman (9-6-2, 7-4-2) to just one shot on goal.
 
Cavalcante gave the Mustangs a 1-0 advantage in the 37th minute, dribbling around the Jets defense inside the box before firing into the right corner of the net for his seventh goal of the season.
 
The Mustangs held a narrow lead before Ross Fitzpatrick extended the MSU advantage to 2-0 on a header into the left side of the net off a corner kick by Sebastian Venegas in the 74th minute.
 
Just three minutes later, the Maroon and Gold struck again with Jacob Hernandez sending a rocket from the right side of the box in the top left corner of the net for a 3-0 lead.
 
A handball by the Jets inside the box resulted in a penalty kick for the Mustangs in the 81st minute with Patrick Fitzgerald putting MSU in front 4-0 to round out the scoring for the night.

"I'm proud of the guys for responding in the second half," said MSU head coach Doug Elder. "I told them at halftime we're going to go at them in the second half and we're going to score more goals. We've allowed one goal in the last nine games, that's crazy, our defense has really stepped it up. Tonight was everything – it's Homecoming Week, conference championship and the way our game went up there. We play well at home and we're excited about Saturday."

Midwestern State will host the semifinals and finals of the Heartland Conference Tournament, Nov. 4 and 6 at MSU Soccer Field. The semifinals will take place Friday, Nov. 4 at 5 and 7:30 p.m. while the championship match is slated for Sunday, Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. Five of the six seeds in the tournament have been set with Midwestern State, St. Edward's, West Texas A&M, Newman and Rogers State advancing to the postseason.

Midwestern State hosts Oklahoma Christian for Senior Day in its final regular season contest Saturday at 1 p.m. at MSU Soccer Field.

Styles named LSC Cross Country Coach of the Year

Koby Styles earned his fifth Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year honors after directing Midwestern State to its sixth cross country crown Saturday in Commerce.
 
The Mustangs placed a program record five runners on the All-LSC squad as sophomore Bridget Reilly(22:43.70/4th), sophomore Sara Smith (22:59.60/7th), senior Leticia Shaban (23:25.60/12th), senior Ana Lopez (23:29.00/13th) and sophomore Michelle Rieves (23:30.80/15th) all finished in the top 15 at the championship distance of 6,000 meters.
 
It's Styles' first accolade since claiming consecutive coach of the year awards from 2008-11 as MSU claimed league titles in each of the four seasons.
 
Under his leadership, the Mustangs have claimed team titles at 25 meets advancing to the NCAA Division II Championships in 2008, 2010 and 2011. MSU boasted its highest finish of 11th in the 2011 when it also claimed its first and only regional title.
 
Styles has mentored 17 different runners to earn All-LSC acclaim, while nine runners earned all-region honors with two of them -- Katie Stepp (2008) and Brissia Montalvo (2011) -- claiming All-America status.
 
Midwestern State competes in the NCAA Division II South Central Regionals on Nov. 5 in Denver.

Copyright 2016 KAUZ Sports/MSU Athletic Communications All Rights Reserved

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