Bulletin Staff Report

ABILENE — Following a weekend split in American Southwest Conference soccer action, the Howard Payne Lady Jackets still find themselves in position to make the championship tournament with one league game remaining.

The Lady Jackets (9-8, 7-5) — who defeated McMurry, 6-0, Friday and lost to Hardin-Simmons, 7-0, Saturday — are in sixth place in the current ASC standings. The top six teams qualify for the conference tournament, which will take place Nov. 7-9 at the site of the top seed, which is currently Hardin-Simmons.

Texas Lutheran (8-8, 6-5) and East Texas Baptist (6-9, 6-5) are currently a half-game behind Howard Payne, which trails fifth-place Mary Hardin-Baylor (9-7, 8-4) by one full game. The Lady Jackets and UMHB will clash in the conference finale for both teams at 1 p.m. Saturday in Belton.

TLU has conference games remaining against McMurry (0-14, 0-11) and Hardin-Simmons (11-3-3, 10-0-1) next weekend, while East Texas Baptist will tangle with Louisiana College (1-13-1, 1-9) and Mississippi College (14-3, 9-2).

In the Lady Jackets’ Friday victory over McMurry, Susana Chavarria scored a pair of goals, while Kelli Wentworth dished out three assists and added a goal of her own.

Three HPU goal keepers — Rachael Hardegree, Allison Gudmundson and Takenda Cotton — combined for the shutout and tallied five saves.

The Lady Jackets opened the scoring just 1:06 into the contest when Chavarria scored from 10 yards out on a Wentworth assist.

Lori Gomez found the net from 30 yards away following an Ashli McCutchen assist 11:28 into the game.

Wentworth then scored HPU’s third goal of the opening half at the 14:17 juncture thanks to an assist from Lauren Hankins.

HPU tacked on three more goals in the second half as Cotton scored off an assist from Wentworth at 49:29, Chavarria notched an unassisted goal at 51:45 and Hankins scored off an assist from Wentworth with 21:51 remaining.

In Saturday’s loss to Hardin-Simmons, Howard Payne attempted just two shots on goal — both by Cotton.

Hardegree tallied four saves and surrendered four goals, while Gudmundson finished with five saves and three goals allowed.

Hardin-Simmons’ seven goals came from seven players — Morgan Loyd, Cassie Sandifer, Mickey Rogers, Allison Ray, Lindsay Cogburn, Erin Low and Stephanie Baker.

McMurry 0, Jackets 0

Hardin-Simmons 2, HPU 0

ABILENE — The Howard Payne Yellow Jackets suffered a 2-0 loss to Hardin-Simmons Saturday and played winless McMurry to 0-0 tie Friday as the program’s potential first postseason berth slipped away over the weekend.

With just one conference game left, the Jackets (5-6-4, 4-6-2) trail East Texas Baptist (7-6-3, 5-4-2), Texas Lutheran (6-6-3, 5-4-2) and LeTourneau (7-9-2, 5-4-2) — the three teams tied for sixth place in the ASC standings — by two games.

In Friday’s tie, both Howard Payne and McMurry (0-14-1, 0-10-1) attempted 25 shots and Yellow Jacket goal keeper Francisco Medina tallied 17 saves in 110 minutes of action. McMurry’s Leeland Karpf finished with 11.

Dennis Benitez attempted four shots on goal for Howard Payne, followed by three from Shane Cazad, two from Wilfredo Larios and one each from Chris Martinez and Thomas Mayfield.

Nathan Perschke fired four shots on goal for McMurry, while Kevin Mayhugh added three.

In Saturday’s loss, Michael Hatcher, Jacob Shuttleworth and Ramses NaJeebe attempted the only shots for HPU. Medina chalked up eight more saves in goal.

Both Hardin-Simmons (9-4-4, 8-1-2) goals came after halftime as Roberto Martinez scored at 51:04 and Cody McGrath found the net at 79:19.

The Jackets and Lady Jackets will be back in action Tuesday as they host the University of Dallas in non-conference action. The doubleheader, slated to start with the women’s game at 2 p.m., will serve as the home finale for Howard Payne.