With home victories in their final two matches of the regular season, the Howard Payne Lady Jackets earned their first berth in the American Southwest Conference women’s soccer championship tournament since 2011.

The Lady Jackets blanked Louisiana College, 3-0, Saturday at Citizens National Bank Field after nipping East Texas Baptist, 1-0 in overtime, Friday to extend their win streak to three games.

In Saturday’s victory over Louisiana College, the Lady Jackets (9-7-1, 4-4-1) took a 1-0 lead just 9:38 into the contest as Marley Zochert scored with an assist from Courtney Turner. HPU maintained its slim lead through the rest of the first half, then 1:26 into second half Taylor Bicknell scored with assist from Vivian Nguyen. Just 2:28 later, Nguyen found the net with an assist from Turner to cap the scoring.

The HPU defense surrendered just eight shots, including four on goal. Goal keeper Kelsie Piland worked the first 63:13, then Shelby Spaulding played the final 26:47 and tallied three saves.

In Friday’s win, Lynsie Anderson scored the only goal 95 minutes and 55 seconds after play began as the Lady Jackets knocked off ETBU in overtime.

Howard Payne attempted 31 shots with 18 on goal — five by Anderson, four by Bicknell, two by Samantha Mullins and one each by Zochert, Turner, Elliott Gray, Priscilla Jamaica, Marlene Gillespie, Alex Bernal and Tyla Tipson.

Piland went the distance in goal and recorded eight saves as ETBU attempted 10 shots with eight on target.

ASC women’s soccer championship tournament pairings will be announced today. The top six seeds advance to the double elimination tournament that begins Friday at the site of No. 1 seed Hardin-Simmons.

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Yellow Jackets earn first

postseason berth since 2010

The Howard Payne Yellow Jackets are returning to the postseason for the first time since 2010, clinching a berth in the American Southwest Conference men’s soccer championship tournament thanks to a pair of home victories over the weekend.

The Yellow Jackets stretched their win streak to three games overall with victories of 4-1 over East Texas Baptist Friday and 3-1 over Louisiana College Saturday at Citizens National Bank Field.

In Saturday’s victory, Howard Payne (5-9-1, 4-4-1) needed just 27 seconds to grab the lead as Enosh Griffin scored with an assist from Kevin Ruiz. Louisiana College pulled even with 12:19 left before halftime as Matheus Fullini scored with an assist from Bonenco Bazil.

The Yellow Jackets reclaimed the lead 1:59 later as Daniel Torres scored unassisted.

Leading by a goal at halftime, Howard Payne added insurance 4:19 into the second half as Jacob Moore capped the scoring with an unassisted goal.

Brice Gardner recorded five saves in goal for HPU as Louisiana College fired 14 shots with six on target.

On Friday, the Yellow Jackets established a new season-high in goals during their victory over East Texas Baptist.

HPU chalked up three goals in the final 12 minutes of the first half. Shay Pate scored on an assist from Ruiz with 11:23 left before halftime, then Moore tacked on the Yellow Jackets’ second goal 74 seconds later. With 7:33 to go in the first half, Ruben Lemus tallied an unassisted goal for HPU.

Leading 3-0 at halftime, Howard Payne scored once more 16:22 into the second half as Tracer Moore found the back of the net with an assist from Jacob Moore.

ETBU’s Bryan Romero snapped the shutout with 14:19 remaining.

Gardner went the distance in goal for HPU, recording nine saves.

ASC men’s soccer championship tournament pairings will be announced today. The top six seeds advance to the double elimination tournament that begins Friday at the site of No. 1 seed UT-Dallas.