JONESBORO, Ark. (9/8/17) – Victoria MacIntosh scored two goals as the Arkansas State women’s soccer team drew its third clean sheet in a row with a 2-0 victory over UT Martin Friday evening at Skyhawk Field.
MacIntosh scored in the 14th and 86th minutes for A-State as her squad held off a furious charge by UT Martin in the second half. Her goal late in the match helped secure the victory and helped Arkansas State finish non-conference play with a 4-2-0 mark. With the loss, the Skyhawks fell to 2-4-2 on the year.
“We had seen on film that they liked to turn up the pressure in the second half, but until you get in it, you really don’t what to expect,” A-State head coach Brian Dooley said. “I think it caught us by surprise and the first 10 minutes were the worst, but once we got our marks and could absorb their pressure we got more dangerous on the counter and that forced them to have to adjust to us.”
A-State struck first in the 14th minute when MacIntosh collected a rebound off a Maggie Ertle header and found space between the goalkeeper and the end line to put away a clean look on the goal. The attempt was setup by a corner kick from Riley Ebenroth, which found the head of Ertl, whose shot was deflected to MacIntosh for the goal.
The freshman from Manchester, Mo., scored again in the 87th after taking a pass from Sarah Sodoma that created a one-on-one situation with UT Martin goalkeeper Erica Myers. MacIntosh put away the shot from 15-yards out.
“The best was to describe the second half was organized chaos,” A-State associate head coach Shannon Washington said. “We knew they would come at us in the second half but they were just pulling people in from everywhere and we couldn’t be more proud of the girls for withstanding the pressure.”
UT Martin outshot the Red Wolves 17-5 in the second half, but Kelsey Ponder (3-1-0) thwarted every attempt that the Skyhawks sent at her. The junior goalkeeper from St. Louis, Mo., made six saves as A-State collected a school record third straight shutout. Ponder has been responsible for two of the shutouts during the run, while freshman Megan McClure has the other clean sheet.
“We could not be more proud of the girls and the way they handled tonight and really everything throughout non-conference play,” Washington said. “I think the offense is really starting to find a rhythm and we’ve got several options we can to, which strengthens our midfield and back line as well.
Arkansas State returns to the field Friday, Sept. 15 when it opens Sun Belt Conference play against Louisiana at the A-State Soccer Park. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.