ABILENE — The Howard Payne Lady Jackets were unable to slow down the machine that is Hardin-Simmons University women’s soccer as the No. 3 Cowgirls ran their American Southwest Conference unbeaten streak to 153 games as they collected a 5-1 victory Tuesday afternoon.
The Lady Jackets slipped to 4-7 overall and 4-4 in ASC action with the loss, while Hardin-Simmons improved to 11-0-1 overall and 8-0 in conference outings. The game was being made up as it was rained out on its originally scheduled date of Sept. 29.
Howard Payne remained tied with Texas Lutheran (6-7, 4-5) for seventh place in the ASC standings with 12 points, four behind the total of 16 by UT-Dallas (8-4-1, 5-3-1) and East Texas Baptist (7-5-1, 5-4-1), who share fifth place. The top six teams will advance to the ASC championship tournament Nov. 1-4 at the site of the No. 1 seed. Three points are awarded for each conference win, while ties result in one point for each team.
Hardin-Simmons tallied the game’s first three goals — all before halftime — as Courtney Cramer scored 3:04 into the match, Katie Kuykendall found the net at 8:44 and Devon Howard capped the first-half scoring with 16:41 left before intermission. Kuykendall assisted on the two goals she didn’t provide.
The Lady Jackets produced the first goal of the second half as Leslie Jones scored off an assist from Lauren Wilmer with 20:42 remaining.
Kristen Pack then stretched the Cowgirls’ lead back to three goals with 16:15 left while Kristen Brockman extended the advantage to the final four-goal margin with 13:12 remaining. Howard and Taylor Thigpen were credited with the final two HSU assists.
Howard Payne attempted just four shots — one each by Jones, Haley Clanahan, Rebecca Lamar and Jamie Tish. Clanahan’s shot was on goal, along with Jones’ goal. In goal, Courtney Beene tallied nine saves for HPU as Hardin-Simmons fired 14 shots with five on goal.
The Lady Jackets, who have four conference games remaining, host LeTourneau at 1 p.m. Friday and UT-Tyler at 1 p.m. Saturday in their final two home matches of the season.