Sophomore Ariel Lopez delivered two goals in the second half to lead Eastern New Mexico to a 2-1 upset win over No. 16 Midwestern State Friday night at Stang Park.
With the loss, the Mustangs (11-5-1, 6-4-1 LSC) fall into third place in the Lone Star Conference race with 19 points behind Angelo State (9-1-1, 28 points) and Texas A&M-Commerce (7-3-1, 21 points).
MSU can claim the No. 2 seed in next week's LSC Postseason Tournament with a win over West Texas A&M and if Texas A&M-Commerce falls at Angelo State, who clinched an outright league title with a 1-0 win over Texas Woman's Friday night. If the Mustangs and Texas A&M-Commerce each win Saturday, MSU will be the No. 3 seed.
Midwestern will fall to the No. 4 seed with a loss to West Texas A&M on Sunday.
For the second consecutive match, the Mustangs seized early control of the match by drawing first blood. Sophomore Hanna Mattinson headed in her third goal of the season off of Destinee Williamson's corner kick in the 14th minute.
But Lopez got it going in the second half producing her first multiple-goal performance of the season. The Hobbs, N.M. native has scored goals in her last three outing to up her season total to seven.
Lopez took a pass from Victoria Nunez in the 47th minute and ripped it to the upper left-hand corner of the net for the equalizer. In the 60th minute, she converted a direct free kick just outside of the top of the box to product the Hounds' first advantage.
Junior goalkeeper Alejandra Camarillo made seven saves including back-to-back denials of Mattinson and Kelly Cannistra to snuff out a brilliant MSU scoring opportunity in the 76th minute.
Eastern New Mexico improved to 4-8-6 overall and to 3-5-4 in LSC play.
Junior Rockelle Gholson put down a team-high 16 kills, while Addison Semer and Raven Presley added 11 each, but it wasn't enough to extend Midwestern State's three-match winning streak Friday night at Drag's Court.
Western New Mexico's trio of Kalie Lyle (16), Alanna Watt (11) and Kelli McGhiey (10) combined for 37 kills as the other Mustangs hit .227 as a team to roll for a 3-1 win.
MSU, which fell to 12-12 overall and 5-9 in Lone Star Conference play remains a game behind eighth-place Texas Woman's in the loss column for the final berth in the league postseason tournament with six games to go.
It was a match which featured blocks -- lots of blocks. The teams combined for 24 stuffs as senior Heather Verrill had a hand in nine of WNMU's 14 total blocks, while sophomore Sarah Eakin got her hands on seven of MSU's 10 total blocks.
Midwestern managed to hit .136 as a team despite Semer's stellar attack night. The senior put down 11 kills with one error on 23 total attempts to hit .435. She added three blocks and three digs.
Senior setter Kristan Aduddell notched a double-double with 43 set assists and 13 digs, while fellow senior Aerielle Edwards had 17 digs to lead backrow efforts.
Midwestern State closes out the New Mexico road swing Saturday afternoon at Eastern New Mexico. First service from Greyhound Arena is set for 6 p.m. (Central Time).