WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - No. 8 Midwestern State extended its win streak to 11 games Friday evening as the top-seeded Mustangs advanced to the Heartland Conference Tournament finals following a 2-0 win over Newman (Kan.) at MSU Soccer Field.
Midwestern State (16-2-1) outlasted a physical Newman squad with 44 fouls, six cautions and one ejection being issued in the contest. After a scoreless game through halftime, senior midfielder Leon Taylor netted the eventual game winner in the 53rd minute with a strike from inside the box to put the Mustangs in front.
Senior midfielder Kyle Baccus gave the Mustangs a 2-0 cushion midway through the second period with his third goal in the last two outings and fourth score of the season with a shot off a deflection in the 67th minute.
The Mustangs defense continued to shine Friday night with their 11th shutout of the season and seventh in the last eight outings, holding fourth-seeded Newman (10-8-2) to just two shots on goal for the clean sheet.
With their semifinal win, the Mustangs move on to face No. 2 seed St. Edward's for the Heartland Conference Tournament title Sunday at 1 p.m. at MSU Soccer Field. The Hilltoppers defeated West Texas A&M, 2-1, in a come-from-behind win in the semifinals.
A goal in the 77th minute by junior forward Destinee Williamson and a career and single-season shutout record for junior goalkeeper Courtney Burnette propelled Midwestern State to its ninth Lone Star Conference Championship appearance Friday evening as the third-seeded Mustangs handed No. 2 West Texas A&M a 1-0 defeat at Lion Soccer Field.
Williamson netted her team-leading ninth goal of the season off a pass from freshman forward Avery Lewis to put the Mustangs in front at the 76:10 mark. Midwestern State (13-5-2) limited the Lady Buffs to just one shot attempt following the goal to advance to its first title match since 2013.
The Mustangs move on to face top-seeded Texas A&M-Commerce in the LSC Championship game Sunday at 1 p.m. as they look to earn an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Lions defeated No. 4 Angelo State, 1-0, in their semifinal match.
West Texas A&M (11-6-0) came close to grabbing a lead late in the first period with Karyn Forbes' shot hitting the crossbar in the 36th minute. The Lady Buffs added a pair of shots on goal late in the half but the Mustangs were able to get them off the scoreboard.
Midwestern State kept the Lady Buffs on their heels for a majority of the game, controlling possession and attacking in the front third. The Mustangs placed three shots on goal in the first period while totaling four on target in the second.
Junior goalkeeper Courtney Burnette made three saves midway through the second period en route to helping the Mustangs record their 10th clean sheet of the season and setting the career (23) and single-season (10) shutout records.